BIDDEFORD — At a noon press conference, Mayor Joanne Twomey said she is disappointed following Tuesday’s Senate vote against a bill to allow new gambling operations in Biddeford and Calais.

“The entire delegation turned their backs on the 59 percent of voters” in Biddeford, Twomey said.

Last November, voters approved a local referendum to allow a facility with harness racing and slot machines to be built. The bill, LD 1203, would have changed state law to allow the project to move forward.

Twomey spoke on the steps of City Hall in front of more than two dozen supporters of the proposed Biddeford Downs project, a partnership between Scarborough Downs and Ocean Properties Ltd. She thanked Sen. Nancy Sullivan, D-Biddeford, for supporting the bill, but admonished the other area representatives and senators who voted it down.

“We’re not happy,” she said.

She then led the crowd of city officials, local businesspeople, residents and members of the harness racing industry in a chant: “We are in it to win it.”

The measure’s failure to win final passage in the Senate, on a 19-15 vote, means it will go on the statewide ballot this fall.

“We are open for business and we will do everything we can to make sure this vote passes in November,” Twomey said.


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