The House today cleared the way for more gambling proposals to be considered on November’s ballot, along with the citizen’s initiative for one in Oxford County.

On Wednesday morning, the House voted 81 to 69 to reject the majority committee report on the Oxford casino bill, LD 1808, which recommended against its passage.

In doing so, the House is opened the door for amendments to further change the shape of gaming in Maine. One now being considered, for example, would not only ask voters to authorize the casino in Oxford, but also an expansion of Hollywood Slots in Bangor to include table games and a full casino in Washington County to be run by the Passamaquoddy Tribe.

That question would be on the ballot in addition the existing citizen’s initiative for the Oxford casino. There are several possible competing measures being discussed by lawmakers, which will be considered when the House takes up the bill again. This could come as soon as Wednesday afternoon.

Tribal representatives were encouraged by the House vote. “We’ve been at this for 20 years, and they keep telling us ‘Wait a year, wait a year,'” said Passamaquoddy Tribal Rep. Donald Soctomah after the vote. “It seems that Washington County is being forgotten, the tribes are being forgotten. This gives us an opportunity.”


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