Wording approved for Maine casino ballot questions

Posted Aug. 25, 2011, at 3:44 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 25, 2011, at 5:33 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Secretary of State Charlie Summers on Thursday approved two ballot questions for the November election dealing with the proposed expansion of gambling in Maine.

The questions were made official after a 30-day public comment period that ended last week on citizen initiatives related to a casino proposal in Lewiston and a racino proposal for Biddeford and Washington County.

The questions will read:

“Do you want to allow a casino with table games and slot machines in Lewiston, with part of the profits going to support specific state and local programs?”

And:

“Do you want to allow a slot machine facility at a harness racing track in Biddeford or another community within 25 miles of Scarborough Downs, subject to local approval, and at a harness racing track in Washington County, with part of the profits from these facilities going to support specific state and local programs?”

The referendum questions are the result of legislation that was introduced this spring during the 125h Legislature. House and Senate members had the option of enacting the measures into law or sending the questions to the voters for a final determination.

Maine voters have approved gambling facilities on two occasions, a 2003 initiative that paved the way for Hollywood Slots in Bangor, and last year’s proposal to build a resort casino in Oxford County.

Several other gambling-related initiatives have been struck down by voters.

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