AUGUSTA – A Maine legislative panel has approved a bill to have the state study the market potential for building more casinos in Maine.

The Veteran and Legal Affairs Committee unanimously endorsed the measure on Tuesday.

The bill directs Maine to contract with a consultant would study whether a market exists for more slot machines in the state.

Once the study is done, lawmakers would work on developing a comprehensive process for regulating future gambling expansion.

The bill comes on the heels of the rejection of several gambling proposals in the Legislature last week. The Senate killed bills that would have allowed Scarborough Downs and the state’s American Indian tribes to ask voters if they can operate casinos.

Maine currently has two casinos, in Oxford and Bangor.

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