Maine's Oxford Casino May Close After Permit Is Vacated
Justice Rules Development Permit Was Incorrectly Awarded To Casino
In November of 2010, Maine voters approved the Oxford Casino, which was then granted a development permit by the Department of Environmental Protection. The casino opened on June 5th of this year, but may soon be forced to close after the Androscoggin River Alliance pointed out that the permit was only for the first phase of a three-phase development.
Justice Michaela Murphy agreed with the alliance, ordering that a new permit application be reviewed by the alliance for the entire project, which has already been completed.
According to the alliance attorney Stephen Hinchman, there is a question as to whether the casino’s location on the top of a hill can support the proper sewage facilities to keep surrounding ponds and streams clean.
“We’ve always said this was the wrong place for a development of this magnitude,” Hinchman told The Associated Press. “It didn’t matter if it was a hospital, a church, a school or a casino, this is the wrong place for development. Because the department and the board never looked at the impact of full build-out, they never answered the question of can this site sustain the level of sewage disposal when the project tripled at full build-out.”
The casino is owned and operated by BB Development LLC, and currently has it’s team of lawyers looking into the decision. Hinchman believes the casino isn’t properly licensed to operate and must close, but David Van Slyke, an attorney representing the casino, disagrees, stating that they are still in the evaluation period.
The casino is located in southern Maine in the city of Oxford, roughly 30 minutes from Portland. In addition to slot machines, the casino is also licensed to spread blackjack, roulette and craps. Maine has one other full casino in Bangor, called the Hollywood Casino Hotel and Raceway.
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