AUGUSTA — Legislation to study the impact of casinos in Maine and set a minimum $5 million license fee has won House approval.

Meanwhile, only a final Senate vote is pending on a bill to allow private clubs and fraternal organizations to have slot machines, a maximum of five each.

Fraternal groups have long lobbied lawmakers for the right to have gaming machines at their facilities, saying they’re a source of needed revenue. No more than 250 of those machines would be allowed statewide.

The casino study bill would bar the state from accepting any new casino applications, pending a study to come up with recommendations on competitive bidding for proposed gambling sites. It also sets a $5 million minimum fee for casino licenses.


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