Oxford Casino in Maine loses environmental permit gamble

Jul 30, 2012 6:12 PM

The owners of privately-held Oxford Casino in Maine gambled that a challenge to their environmental permit would not be supported.

They lost.

Following a judge’s decision upholding the argument that the Department of Environmental Protection had failed to properly review all three phases of an environmental study, the property faced closure. The judge ordered the permit application be sent back to the DEP for further study.

Oxford Casino has only operated for two months.

Attorney Stephen Hinchman, who represented the Androscoggin River Alliance in the dispute, said that without a permit the casino must shut down.

“They went forward at their own risk and now they’re going to have to pay the price. It was a gamble. It was a bad gamble,” Hinchman told the Associated Press.

A spokesman for the BB Development LLC, owners of the property, disagreed, saying the judge’s ruling only pertained to one aspect of the permit. “We’re still evaluating it at this time,” he said.

However, Patrick Fleming, executive director of the Maine Gambling Control Board, said the board will probably follow the lead of the DEP, which is expected to make a decision following a meeting with the state Attorney General.