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Maine casino could close after judge rules to nullify permit

TAGs: Casino News, Legal, Maine, oxford casino

Oxford CasinoThe Oxford Casino in Oxford, Maine opened in June 5 with what looks like an incomplete development permit. As a result, they’re about to pay a pretty steep price for it.

Justice Michaela Murphy, acting on case filed by the Androscoggin River Alliance to take back the development permit Oxford Casino obtained from the Department of Environmental Protection, nullified the said permit and ordered it to be sent back to the DEP for further consideration.

According to the Associated Press, the Alliance was arguing that the DEP granted the BB Development LLC, the owner of the Oxford Casino, a wrong permit last year, one that only considered the first phase of the three-phase project. As part of state law, the DEP was required to consider all three phases of the casino’s development before granting a permit.

As a result of Murphy’s ruling, the casino, which has been in operation for a little less than two months, is in danger of being shut down.

Attorney Stephen Hinchman, who represents the Androscoggin River Alliance, said that BB Development took a bad risk in opening the casino without completing the requirements to be granted a permit. “They went forward at their own risk and now they’re going to have to pay the price,” he said.

“It was a gamble. It was a bad gamble.”

Hinchman also said that the Androscoggin River Alliance’s main objection stems from where the casino is located, an area that the ARA has argued does not have the capacity to sustain a development of this magnitude because of inadequate sewage facilities that could potentially disrupt groundwater supplies in the surrounding area.

“We’ve always said this was the wrong place for a development of this magnitude,” Hinchman said, alluding to

“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.”

Needless to say, BB Development isn’t taking this new development lightly and has indicated that it’s going to evaluate the judge’s decision before deciding on what course of action to take. The company’s attorney, David Van Slyke told the Sun Journal of Lewiston, which first reported on this development: “We disagree with the decision both legally and factually and, obviously, we’re still evaluating it at this time.”

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