NORWAY — It appears that the town of Oxford will get its casino.
With about 96 percent of Maine precincts reporting, the yes campaign led in the vote on a citizen initiative to bring a casino with slot machines and table games to Oxford County.
According to unofficial tallies, the yes side was up by about 5,500 votes.
Black Bear Entertainment LLC wants to build a $165 million, four-season casino and resort it says would support more than 2,700 jobs, pump tens of millions of dollars into the economy and generate more than $60 million in tax revenue.
Opponents said a casino would suck money and jobs out of the economy, while increasing drunken driving and gambling addiction.
In Norway, Scott and Zizi Vlaun of the Oxford Hills No on 1 campaign were picking up road signs Wednesday. “It looks like we lost a close race even though we were outspent 600 to 1,” Scott Vlaun said.
“It's just tragic that our system works in such a way that money speaks louder than the truth,” he said.
Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNo!, said that group might request a recount if the final difference was less than 1 percent.
“We've got five days to decide,” Bailey said.
He said he'd heard of irregularities between what polling places counted and the unofficial results, but he downplayed the issue, saying they were probably mistakes and probably not enough to tip the final count.
Maine's only casino, Hollywood Slots in Bangor, has 1,000 slot machines but no table games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.