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Maine's Gambling Expansion Plans On Hold After Voter Rejection

Maine lawmakers have been showering the voting booths with measures to expand gambling in the state. In recent years, voters have been fickle in their support of gambling expansion. Last year, the first casino opened in Maine, and that led many analysts to believe the state was headed for further expansion in the coming years.

On Tuesday, voters showed lawmakers and analysts that they are not yet ready to go the route of full-scale casino gambling when Maine residents defeated two ballot questions that would have paved the way for more gambling in the state. It was a defeat that will send pro-gambling lawmakers back to the drawing board.

The first question that was defeated asked voters whether or not they wanted a new casino in Biddeford and Washington County. The vote was close, but 55% of voters went against the measure, compared to 44% in favor of the new gaming facility.

The second question asked about a casino in Lewiston, but there was little support on this measure. The question was defeated by a wide 63% to 36% margin. Most predictions had the two gaming bills going down on election day, but gambling proponents were holding out hope that they would have a large turnout from those in favor of the new casino plans.

Maine has been part of the gaming revolution that has taken place in the Northeast over the past couple of years. The new facility in Oxford is being added to the dozens of new casinos that have opened in the region in recent years. Pennsylvania has led the way by authorizing table games last year. Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland also added new casinos.

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