Prepared by the Office of the Attorney General
This initiated legislation authorizes the Gambling Control Board to license a casino at a single site in Oxford County for the operation of table games and slot machines. The casino could be licensed to operate up to 1,500 slot machines, and the maximum number of slot machines allowed to be operated in the state would be increased from 1,500 to 3,000. The casino would be the only place in the state where table games are allowed.
Table games include card games, dice games and other games of chance such as blackjack, poker, dice, craps, roulette, baccarat, money wheels, wheels of fortune, and any electronic facsimile of such games. The minimum age for playing table games would be 21 - the same age required for playing slot machines. Table game distributors would be subject to licensing and regulation by the Gambling Control Board, including the requirement to register each table game.
To be eligible for a casino license, the operator must own a facility at which harness racing was conducted in the 2009 racing year, under a license from the State Harness Racing Commission, and that facility must be located within 10 miles of the proposed casino. (The only facility that meets this requirement is the Oxford County Fairgrounds, which conducted harness racing in 2009 under a state license.) The casino also must be on at least 50 acres of land located within certain specified distances from a hospital with a Level I or II trauma center, a fire station, the main offices of a county sheriff and of a state police field troop, a state highway and an interstate highway interchange.
Before it could be licensed by the state, operation of the casino would first have to be approved by the municipality where it is to be located - either by the voters in a local referendum election, or by vote of the municipal officers. The local vote must be held on or before December 31, 2011. Renewal of a casino license would also require local approval.
After January 1, 2011, no other casino or slot machine facility could be licensed unless it was first approved by voters in a statewide referendum, as well as by the municipal officers or voters of the municipality where it was to be located.
A licensed casino operator would be required to turn over 46% of the net revenue from slot machines and 16% of the net revenue from table games to the Gambling Control Board for distribution to a variety of state and local programs itemized in the legislation in specified amounts. One quarter of the net revenue from slot machines and one tenth of the net revenue from table games would be used to supplement (but not supplant) funding for essential programs and services in public schools, for kindergarten through grade 12. The remainder of the net slot machine revenue would be distributed in specified amounts, ranging from 1% to 4%, to the University of Maine System and Maine Community College System scholarship programs, the tribal governments of the Penobscot Nation and the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Agricultural Fair Support Fund, the Sire Stakes Fund, a fund to supplement harness racing purses, and dairy farm stabilization programs. Net revenue from both slot machines and from table games would also be directed to the host municipality (2%), the host county (1%), and to support administrative costs of the Gambling Control Board (3%), which include counseling services for gambling addiction.
Percentage payments to the Penobscot Nation and the Passamaquoddy Tribe, and payments to supplement the Sire Stakes Fund and harness racing purses would cease if those recipients ever received funds from a slot machine facility or casino other than the Oxford County casino or the existing slot machine facility in Bangor.
If approved, this citizen initiated legislation would take effect 30 days after the Governor proclaims the official results of the election.
A "YES" vote is to enact the initiated legislation.
A "NO" vote opposes the initiated legislation.
Do you want to allow a casino with table games and slot machines at a single site in Oxford County, subject to local approval, with part of the profits going to specific state, local and tribal programs?
No [ ]