AUGUSTA, Maien — The Maine Gambling Control Board voted unanimously Wednesday to approve Penn National Gaming’s request to allow Hollywood Slots in Bangor to operate on Sunday mornings.
With little discussion, the board voted 5-0 to allow the racino to change its Sunday opening from noon to 8 a.m. The Wyomissing, Pa.-based company said the four-hour extension would generate $700,000 to $1 million more in annual revenues that could yield an extra $350,000 to $500,000 in taxes for the state.
The proposal had drawn opposition from clergy and the Maine Family Policy Council. The pastor of Bangor Baptist Church, the Rev. Jerry Mick, said it seemed clear even before Wednesday’s vote that the gambling board would allow the earlier hours, “but to say nothing wasn’t the right thing to do.”
Mick said the pastors respect the decision of the board but “just don’t think gambling is good for Maine.”
A Nov. 24 hearing date on the proposed rule change and a deadline for public comments passed without expressions of opposition. After several clergy turned out at a December meeting to protest the expanded hours, the board decided to extend the deadline to send written comments.
Board members agreed, however, that there was no basis to deny the request.