Gambling bills before Maine lawmakers


AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The sponsor of a bill to authorize three casinos in Maine, subject to a competitive bidding process, says the Legislature has an opportunity to lead rather than follow on how gaming develops in the state.

Democratic Rep. Linda Valentino of Saco told the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee on Wednesday that lawmakers “missed the boat” setting policy on gambling last year before the Oxford casino was approved by voters. But she says it’s not too late to map out gambling’s future rather than letting it be done by repeated referendums.

Another bill before the committee would allow a slot machine facility that was operating as of Jan. 1 to run a casino that includes table games. Hollywood Slots in Bangor is the only facility that fits that description.