The House on Friday revised an earlier vote and opted to put the citizen’s initiative for a casino in Oxford County on the November ballot by itself.

The 83-59 vote to indefinitely postpone consideration of the bill, L.D. 1808, all but guarantees that the citizen’s initiative supported by Black Bear Entertainment to build a resort casino in Western Maine will not face a competing measure on the ballot.

Rep. Stacey Fitts, R-Pittsfield, spoke against the prevailing vote. He supported a competing measure that, if passed by the voters in November, would have expanded gambling not just with the casino in Oxford County, but by adding table games to Hollywood Slots in Bangor and allowing the Passamaquoddy Tribe to go forward with a long-standing request to build a casino in Calais.

He said that the simple yes or no vote on the Oxford initiative would divide the state into competing regions.

The vote not to add a competing measure was, he said, pushing a much-needed discussion about gambling down the road. “The issue for me is whether this Legislature has the guts to take on this issue, or would rather punt,” said Fitts during the debate before the vote.

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