Two Members Leaving Maine Gambling Control Board 

At Wednesday’s meeting, Executive Director of the gaming board, Bob Welch, announced his resignation.He will be taking a job with the University of Maine Police Department.And Board Chairman George Hale is also leaving, at the beginning of next year.Hale tells TV 5 he will stay on until Governor Elect Lepage chooses someone to replace him.A scheduled recount on the Oxford County Casino vote didn’t prevent representatives of the company behind the proposed 165-million dollar casino, from meeting with the Maine Gambling Control Board Wednesday.Black Bear Entertainment is taking the first steps toward building its casino in Oxford.Meghan Hayward reports.Members of Black Bear Entertainment made a brief presentation at the Gambling Control Board meeting Wednesday in Augusta.” We hope this is the start of a beautiful friendship. What I followed up with is more than a friendship, we hope to have a great collaborative, professional relationship with the Maine Gambling Control Board.”. They say as they move forward with the casino in Oxford County, they hope to follow in the footsteps of Penn National, the owners of the state’s first gaming facility – Hollywood Slots in Bangor.” Penn National has done a great job forging this process ahead in Maine. They’ve done a wonderful job in Bangor and they’ve been a great example of how to do it right.”. Everyone agrees the casino process can’t be rushed and has to be closely monitored. ” Haste does make waste. We’re forging a new area here of regulation and rules that is table games. We think we’ve written a very sound bill.”” This is going to be a new undertaking for the State of Maine. We’re going to need to educate the board on all the new games and the processes of them.”The gaming board put together an early report on the project, which includes an estimated 8 public safety positions needed. Commissioner for the Department of Public Safety, Anne Jordan says this will be hard on the department. ” We don’t have a penny yet. We have to get the allocations from the state legislature to do that.” ” We have put a loose timeline, calendar budgetary package together. My hope was that people could see that and hit the milestones on it.” Members of Black Bear Entertainment say thanks to Hollywood Slots, they believe their project will move much faster. ” We had no regulatory system in place in 2003. That’s all here now.”