Oxford casino proposal to go it alone before voters

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AUGUSTA – The Maine Senate voted to send the citizen’s initiative to establish a casino in Oxford County to the statewide ballot alone, without an alternative. The vote was 26 to 8, with one senator absent. Members of the House voted similarly on Friday.

The move put to end the question of whether or not voters would get the opportunity to approve a hastily-negotiated proposal that would have allowed casinos in Penobscot and Washington counties, in addition to Oxford.

Supporters of the alternative said it would lay to rest regional competition for expanded gambling opportunities, but opponents said there was not enough time to negotiate a fair compromise.

Voters will have the opportunity to weigh in on a statewide ballot whether or not to approve the Oxford County initiative, which proposes building a casino and four season resort in the town of Oxford. In 2008, voters defeated a similar proposal 54 percent to 46 percent.

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rmetzler@sunjournal.com

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