Lewiston Bates Mill Building Sale for Casinos (2011)
There may be a Lewiston Bates Mill Building Sale for Casinos measure on the November 2011 ballot in Androscoggin County for voters in the city of Lewiston.
There is a current petition drive to get approval for the sale of a building in the city, the Bates Mill building. Organizers of the petition seek to enable the sale of this building to a local casino group so that they can build a casino on the site. If the petition gets approved at the county level, it would still have to go to a statewide vote before it would be fully approved. Backers of the petition say that if the casino was built then it would help fund the government by giving back around 9 percent of its income. But opponents say that getting a casino measure passed would be difficult since very few casino measures in the past ten years have been approved.
The Great Falls Casino LLC is the group backing this proposal, hoping to tie up the parcel of land for two years. The city would vote in June of 2010 and then if that were approved then in November of 2011 the state vote would be needed. Council members are not sure they want to tie up a piece of land for two years waiting on votes when it could be developed for other purposes now. Another issue, there is a current measure for a casino in Oxford, within 100 miles of Lewiston. Current state laws state that there cannot be another casino within 100 miles of each other. The Casino group knows it has obstacles, but hopes to be able to change the law when the voters approve the county vote.