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Voters say "yes" to new casino in Maine

Voters say "yes" to new casino in Maine After voters in Maine rejected casino proposals in the past years, the Tuesday's election gave green light to building a full-fledged casino in the state. Passing with almost 51% of the voters saying "yes" the law would allow the local Black Bear Entertainment LLC to build a casino in the western town of Oxford, a proposal that was rejected by Mainers in 2008.

 According to one of the investors in the Black Bear Entertainment LLC, a company comprised of local business owners, the bleak economy outlook and the unemployment in the state changed the minds of the locals on building a casino in the state. Hundreds of new jobs are expected to become available once the casino starts to function and increase the flow to the state's coffers.

 The proposal is to invest over $165 million into building and making the new casino operational, although at this point the exact site of the future casino remains unknown. This helps fuel the questions about the proposal being constitutional, since the law includes a provision that would ban the opening of a new casino within 100 miles radius from the one operated by Black Bear Entertainment LLC. "They may end up putting up a barn full of slot machines, but the idea that Oxford is going to turn into Las Vegas-east is pretty unlikely," Dennis Bailey, executive director of the CasinosNo! anti-casino group was quoted.

 If everything goes as planed, the new casino will also be the first "real" casino in Maine. At this time the state enjoys only the Hollywood Slots Casino in Bangor, which consists of 1,000+ slot machines, but table games are not allowed.

 Published on 11/05/2010

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