Anti-Gaming Organizations Want to Prohibit Slot Machines in Maine

On November 8th, 2007, one day after the voters in Maine barred the tribe from its plan to construct a racing track in Washington County, organizations that are against the plan commented that they will still continue to oppose the plan even the Hollywood Slots at Bangor.

The company is currently in the midst of a $131 million construction project. Fred Kilfoil, the spokesperson for the No Slots for ME! said that their main goal is to ban the slot machines all over the state. The group has no immediate plans to repeal the law that was approved by the voters during a statewide referendum in 2003 that allowed the Hollywood Slots to open. But Kilfoil said that they plan to deal with the issue in the near future.

The group was very vocal in their dislike to the Tribe to offer 1,500 new slot machines and build a racing track to Calais just across the St. Croix River from Canada. The organization released a statement that said that while they agreed with the side of the tribe that it is unfair to allow out of state business organizations like Penn National Gaming Incorporated to operate the Hollywood Slots at Bangor but to not allow a Maine Tribe to offer slot machines.

CasinosNO! Executive Director Dennis Bailey said that the solution would be to remove all of the slot machines. Norman Heitmann III, the counsel for the city of Bangor said that it would be impossible for the voters to repeal the slots allowing the Hollywood Slots to operate in Bangor. Hollywood Slots spokesperson Amy Kenney commented that the vote would not affect their ongoing project.

Anti-slots Group Protests In Maine

In a rather strong effort to eliminate the slots in the state of Maine, a group called No Slots for ME! is reportedly planning a huge signature drive just outside voting venues in November.

Speaking for No Slots for ME! is Doug Muir. He told reporters: “We always thought the licensing of one slots facility would lead to more, and we’re seeing that prophecy being played out.”

Bangor, the third-largest city in Maine, is the only city that has all the necessary government approvals to host a slots facility. Hollywood Slots at Bangor is the only licensed slots operator in Maine.

But Hollywood Slots owner, Penn National Gaming Co., has earlier reveled that it plans to start the construction of a fixed slots venue with 1,500 slot machines, and this would be on Main Street.

As this developed, in Oxford County, another slots establishment has already been proposed.

On why the group chose to conduct the signature drive outside polling venues, Muir said: “The tribe’s endeavors do make it more important to bring the whole issue of slots back to the voters.”

Officers of No Slots for ME! include former Gov. Angus King and Michael Heath of the Christian Civic League of Maine.