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Gambling expansion proposed in Maine

15 April 2009

AUGUSTA, Maine -- As reported by the Bangor Daily News: "Slot machines would be allowed at Scarborough Downs and at new racetrack casinos in Oxford and Washington counties under a sweeping expansion of gambling introduced Tuesday.

"'What we want to do is get the groups together that are interested and as a coalition, move the bill forward,' said Sen. Bruce Bryant, D-Dixfield, sponsor of the measure. 'I think when you put it all into one package, it is a more powerful bill.'

"All of the provisions in Bryant's bill already are before lawmakers as separate bills and with some variations on size and how the revenue from the gambling would be allocated.

"Bryant said his measure, as drafted, would allow for new racetracks in Oxford and Washington counties and would allow the state Gambling Control Board to license up to 3,500 slot machines, with no more than 1,500 at any facility. The Hollywood Slots facility in Bangor is the only racino in the state and is licensed to have 1,500 machines.

"'This is an opportunity for the state to have revenue, and it desperately needs it,' he said. 'This would provide revenue for agriculture, provide money for horsemen, for the agricultural fairs and it does bring in revenue to the state...'"

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