BANGOR, Maine – as reported by the Portland Press Herald: “Gambling began today as the state's first slot machines start to spin. Hollywood Slots at Bangor opened this morning with 475 machines. A red carpet and James Dean and Marilyn Monroe impersonators welcomed the first customers.
“The opportunity for Mainers to play the slots follows more than two decades of debate in the state over casino gambling. And Bangor's experience is expected to fuel the ongoing battle over whether Maine should have more slots parlors.
“…The Passamaquoddy Tribe is working to open a racino in Washington County, and several proposals have been made in southern Maine in the past few years.
“[Bangor] City leaders are celebrating the opening of the slots parlor in a former buffet restaurant on Main Street. They have worked for two years to get the slots operating, ever since voters approved the machines in a local and statewide referendum.
“Their hope is the machines will help stimulate the city's economy and make it more of a tourist destination. A portion of the slot revenues will pay to replace the Bangor Civic Center and Auditorium.
“Hollywood Slots is only opening a temporary parlor. Its owner, Penn National Gaming, plans to level two nearby hotels and replace them with a $71 million building that would hold up to 1,500 slots. It would open in 2007…”