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Casino Initiative will proceed to November Ballot

April 3, 2008

AUGUSTA, ME - A citizen-initiated bill to authorize a casino in Oxford County casino will appear on Maine's ballot in November after the Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee voted unanimously against the measure in the legislature.  The legislature could have approved the initiative making it effective without a voter referendum.

Despite the committee's rejection, several legislators said they will vote in favor of it in the fall. Rep. John Patrick, D-Rumford, the committee chairman, said "I can envision a wonderful four-season resort casino in Oxford County. I don't think there's ever been a perfect citizen's initiative that has come forward, but it's about the concept and the idea behind it: Do people want a casino in Oxford County or don't they want one?"

BILL SUMMARY

  • Authorizes Evergreen Mountain Enterprises to operate a casino in Oxford County
  • Requires local town approval for the casino
  • Allows the casino to grant a line of credit to gamblers
  • Allows an unlimited number of slots to operate in the Oxford County casino
  • Bans all new, non-state authorized slot machines in Maine
  • Lowers the minimum age to play a slot machine from age 21 to 19
  • Lowers the minimum age to work in a casino from age 20 to 18
  • Appoints the casino president to all governing boards that receive money from the casino
  • Places a 10 year moratorium on building of any additional casinos in Maine

EARMARKED PROVISIONS - 39% in total

5% to help Maine residents repay student loans
4% to research and develop an east-west highway
3% to the University of Maine to develop and construct a biofuel facility
3% to make health care more affordable for Maine small businesses
2% to municipalities to provide property tax relief
2% to a Maine prepaid college plan
2% to help elderly pay for prescription drugs
2% to the Department of Transportation to improve rural roads
2% to the Maine Community College System
2% to the town the casino is built in
1% to general purpose aid for schools
1% to Maine's Renewable Resource Fund
1% to the Finance Authority of Maine's NextGen First Step Grant program
1% to regionalize municipal services
1% to help raise the minimum wage
1% to Maine residents who demonstrate energy efficiency
1% to improve river water quality, starting with the Androscoggin River
1% to Land for Maine's Future Fund
1% to public access television
1% to Mainers 15- to 30-years-old to support ideas and projects that will stimulate Maine's creative economy
1% to gambling addiction counseling
1% to Oxford County

Return to Maine Casinos.


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