Bangor council nears vote on slot plan


BANGOR (AP) – The Bangor City Council could vote as early as Monday on a final proposal for a $70 million slot machine facility across the street from Bass Park.

Negotiations are nearing completion, and the proposal will be on Monday’s agenda for a series of votes, sources told the Bangor Daily News.

Penn National Gaming Inc. has been operating a temporary slots facility called Hollywood Slots at the former Miller’s Restaurant. If all goes according to plan, the new complex, including a parking garage, restaurant and retail space, will open in 2008.

“I think everything is looking really good,” Penn National spokesman Eric Schippers said. Schippers and Steve Snyder, Penn National’s senior vice president for corporate development, are among the company officials who plan to attend Monday’s meeting.

Bangor officials were confident the six-way deal would go through, but cautioned that when it comes to negotiations, anything can happen.

City Manager Edward Barrett said the racino project has been among the most complex he’s seen since taking his job in 1988.

Penn National is moving forward with its proposal even though Westbrook-based No Slots for ME, which pushed unsuccessfully for a 2006 vote to ban slot machines, is seeking to gather enough signatures to get the measure on next year’s ballot.

Despite opposition elsewhere, support is strong in Bangor, where the city expects to receive $1 million from the slot facility’s first full year of operation.

Six months after its opening, business continues to be brisk at Hollywood Slots. The monthly gross wager, which started at $28.5 million last November, stood at $43.9 million at the end of April, according to the Maine Gambling Control Board.

As of May 15, the state had received almost $8 million in taxes.