DIXVILLE NOTCH, N.H. (AP) -The Maine Medical Association, citing the “detrimental effects of casino gambling on public health,” voted unanimously Saturday to oppose a gambling casino in Maine.

The vote came on a resolution placed before more than 100 doctors attending the association’s annual meeting at The Balsams.

“I was surprised that it was unanimous,” said Gordon Smith, the MMA’s executive vice president. “No one voted against it. That may be the most notable aspect of it.”

The resolution, which came with a strong recommendation from the MMA’s public health committee, said a casino would pose a threat to the state’s public health and result in increased crime, addiction, domestic abuse and suicide.

The association said state funding for gambling addiction services has been woefully inadequate, and the casino referendum bill contains no funding for such programs.

Maine voters will decide Nov. 4 whether to allow the Passamaquoddy Tribe and the Penobscot Nation to develop a $650 million casino and resort in southern Maine.

Smith said the MMA, which has no plans to spend any money opposing the referendum, occasionally weighs in on issues linked to unsafe or risky behavior, such as seat belts, smoking and obesity.

He said the resolution was consistent with the American Medical Association’s position on gambling, even though the AMA has not taken a stance in opposition to casinos.

AP-ES-09-06-03 1713EDT



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