100 Mile Rule Could Delay Oxford Casino 

The state gambling control board met today to try to resolve a conflict that could threaten the new Oxford County Casino project.Maine law requires casinos to be at least 100 miles apart.Black Bear Entertainment wants to build its casino in Oxford on a site which, on the map, is only 94 miles from Hollywood Slots in Bangor.Black Bear would like to see it measured in actual road miles, not map miles.Scarborough Downs is hoping to build a gaming facility in Biddeford, but would need the hundred mile rule *abolished* in order to do so.Peter Martin of Black Bear says there’s no other location where the casino could legally be built. “When you apply all the other criteria. Being near a state police barracks, being near a hospital, a fire station, when you apply those criteria the only site that works is this site,” says Martin. But Ed Maccoll, attorney for Scarborough Downs, says there is one other place in the town of Otisfield that would work. “So they need the law to be that they qualify and Biddeford Downs doesn’t qualify,” McColl. “We think that’s fundamentally unfair to the families, the family farms of Maine harness racing, and the will of the people from the 2003 statewide referendum.”3 of the 4 board members present Friday did say they believe the distance should be measured in road miles, but they have to wait until Black Bear submits a formal application before they can vote on it.