Racino supporters submit petitions in Maine

Posted Jan. 19, 2011, at 5:09 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 19, 2011, at 7:47 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Supporters of a racetrack casino in Biddeford have submitted petitions aimed at changing Maine’s law to allow additional racinos.

Biddeford Downs’ partners — Scarborough Downs and Ocean Properties Ltd. — want the Legislature to change existing laws. If not, the proposal would go to a referendum, thanks to 76,536 signatures delivered Wednesday to the secretary of state.

Maine’s existing racino law set a deadline for local approval where existing harness-racing tracks were located. Only Bangor did so, and the result was Hollywood Slots. The proposal would remove the deadline, as well as a stipulation that prevents competing slots within 100 miles of an Oxford casino approved in November.

Biddeford Downs is teaming up with the Passamaquoddy tribe, which also wants to open a racino in Washington County. They say no gaming operation should have a monopoly.

CORRECTION: Biddeford Downs and the Passamaquoddy tribe said no gaming operation should have a monopoly, not that Hollywood Slots should not have a monopoly.

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