SANFORD (AP) – The Passamaquoddy and Penobscot Indian tribes have obtained an option on nearly 300 acres as a possible site for a $650 million casino-resort the tribes want to build.

The land is located off of Route 99 near the Kennebunk line. Casino supporters said the site will be evaluated by an engineering firm while they continue to look at other plots that might be suitable.

Erin Lehane, spokeswoman for Think About It, the political action committee lobbying for a casino, said terms of the option are confidential.

The option is a contract that gives the tribes the right to buy the land at a specific price within a specified time period. Lehane said the option will expire shortly after the statewide election in November when voters decide whether to allow a casino in southern Maine.

The land is owned by Modern Continental, a construction company in Cambridge, Mass., Lehane said.

The tribes have said they need a minimum of 150 acres to build a casino and resort that would include an 18-hole golf course, a hotel, restaurants, shops and conference facilities. A golf course alone typically takes up 150 acres or more.

Sanford residents voted last year to allow the town to consider a casino proposal.

AP-ES-06-17-03 1702EDT

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