Unless a recount overturns their approval, Maine voters have finally allowed casino gambling. It only took 10 years, millions of dollars spent by both sides and the Groundhog Day-esque repeating of gaming’s promised virtues and revenue.

For the record, we’re having none of it. If the casino in Oxford County delivers on half of what its backers promised, we’ll be pleased. If it’s only half as damaging to the local economy and community as it could be, we’ll consider the glass half-full.

Now that gambling is here, though, the state must arise from its collective duff and strengthen its regulatory system to monitor the gaming industry. What Maine has, with its small, ineffectual gambling control board, is a halfhearted attempt at oversight.

It’s so weak its members in the past have either openly questioned the commission’s role or resigned in futility. The commission also asked for a moratorium on new gambling ventures. Yet lawmakers have not done anything to address its deficiencies.

The importance of stiffening the oversight of gambling is inarguable. Gambling advocates have vowed to provide revenue to the state, and it must be delivered. Addictive gambling must be controlled and treated. Crimes stemming from gambling must be prevented or prosecuted.

An authority must hold the casino and its operators accountable for the promises made and the high potential for negative impact from its operation. The state has the rudiments of what’s needed, but nothing more.

For a good example, look to Connecticut, where the Division of Special Revenue makes no bones about its mission: “We assure public confidence in the honesty and fairness of all facets of gambling for the highest quality benefit to the State.”

What is also striking about Connecticut is how it puts all gaming — charitable, the state lottery and slot and table games — under one agency’s oversight. It’s an idea that could have merit for Maine.

Under Democratic-controlled Legislatures of the past decade, gambling proposals have found favor, but regulatory oversight has not. With Republicans taking control of both chambers, this ineffectiveness cannot continue.

Although a decidedly pro-business and deregulation aura emanates from Tuesday’s vote and the incoming administration, the decision to strengthen the regulatory framework for gambling should be non-negotiable.

With the electoral success of the Oxford County casino plan, plus the local vote in Biddeford approving a racetrack-casino there, more proposals will be made. This should not be a surprise — after all, Maine is coming off a decade filled with votes to allow it.

Yet during that time, the effort to ensure this industry is regulated has not been equally as vigilant. That must change. It makes sense for the vigorous anti-gambling groups in Maine to help lawmakers craft stronger, sensible guidelines come January.

A better system will protect Maine’s people, and require casino operators to fulfill their promises, things the current system does not assure.

Why roll the dice?