Casino for Oxford passes by small margin

NORWAY — It appears that the town of Oxford will get its casino.

Yes on 1
Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

Sumner Sessions, center, of Norway, celebrates his $50 cash win with Jim Boldebook, right, after spinning the wheel at the Yes on One party at Maurice Restaurant Francais in South Paris on Tuesday.

Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

OhNO on One supporters, from left, Scott Berk of Otisfield, Katey Branch of South Paris and Lee Dassler of Otisfield, share a laugh at the campaign's post-election party above Cafe Nomad on Tuesday.

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.

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 's picture

so candiceanne....EVERY

so candiceanne....EVERY person in L/A voted against the casino?????? I don't think so! There were plenty of us that voted for was a close call, and if it hadn't been for those of us in Lewiston and Aubrun that DID vote yes it may not have should be thanking us!!!!!

Steve Bulger's picture

Stemming the flow

At the very least, there should be more Mainers' money staying within the state rather than going to Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. How many busloads of people travel down there DAILY (yes, there are daily buses from Portland) taking their money with them - money that will never return to the Pine Tree State? Now those same people will have the chance to avoid the eight-hour round trip, wager (and likely lose) their "mad money" in Oxford where 46% of the net profits are returned to Maine. And that doesn't even take into account all the jobs that will be created, the foods, beverages and sundries sold, the business expansion from ancillary support sectors, and the lodging and tourism gained - all of which provide increased tax revenues. Are there downsides to casino gambling? Absolutely. But considering the alternatives proposed by those opposed to the casino (none), this peoples' initiative - now law - appears to be the right move at the right time.

 's picture

Well, so it passed.

Now the casino backers are going to have to put their money where their mouth is-and actually deliver every single promise they made.
If they don't, this will be a very big mistake that everyone just voted for. I didn't vote for it-and I'm very cynical about how great this "new opportunity" will actually be.
We shall see what happens. No use crying over spilled mile, but remember this one little phrase: "Be careful of what you wish for-you might just get it."

 's picture

My question is, why keep

My question is, why keep bringing in Franklin County? You don't see Lewiston saying well Androscoggin and Cumberland county should boycott Oxford, So. Paris and Norway. Not that there is much reason to go there anyways. As for very large contributions, where do you get that from? You mean the 2 million dollars that goes to the ENTIRE Androscoggin County? Like I said previously why would Lewiston, Auburn or any Androscoggin county vote for the casino in Oxford when the county as a whole would get A LOT more from one in Lewiston? Also, yeah, Lewiston and Auburn have only their interested in themselves, you don't see anyone helping us out. Not only that how many other towns/cities in Maine are trying to find a way to help eachother? You seriously need to get over your lets hold hands and sing kumbaya, that may have happened in the the 50's, but times have changed. Like I said in a different post you can feel free to boycott Lewiston/Auburn. When you are laying on the floor having a heart attack I am pretty sure you aren't going to be like "Take me to Maine Med, I am boycotting L/A." Give me a break, you are extremely childish and apparently are irrational. Have a good day.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Will cold mornings in

Will cold mornings in February ever stop coming?

 's picture


I voted for Paul AND the casino! How is this for you?

Jerome Young's picture

Auburn voted yes CA

Auburn voted yes CA

PAUL ST JEAN's picture



Scott Pare's picture


Your post is childish at best. Many people in Lewiston voted for the oxford county casino. I would think that most of the people who voted no voted that way because they are against all casinos, not just the one in Oxford. As they say, "don't take it personal". I think very few people bought into the Lewiston Casino Group's campaign of save your vote for L/A. The lewiston casino will not pass either way, it does not have local support, let alone statewide support.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The casino vote PASSED;

The casino vote PASSED; what's your gripe? Gotta have it both ways?


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