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Bangor’s casino experience may offer guidance to Revere

Table games and slot machines at the Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway have brought an infusion of cash, but not the social costs predicted by opponents, according to officials in Bangor, where a Paul Bunyan statue (below) stands across Main Street from the complex.
Table games and slot machines at the Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway have brought an infusion of cash, but not the social costs predicted by opponents, according to officials in Bangor, where a Paul Bunyan statue (below) stands across Main Street from the complex. Credit: Photos by Michael C. York for the boston globe

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BANGOR — Eleven years ago, this old logging town on the Penobscot River opened a new frontier for casino gambling in northern New England.

Bangor — where a giant statue of Paul Bunyan watches over Main Street — approved a ballot question to allow a slots parlor to operate at its 131-year-old harness track on Main Street. Today, Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway, owned by Penn National Gaming Inc., is a mainstay: A source of 400 jobs and millions of dollars in taxes and revenues that enabled the city to open a $65 million civic center last fall.

What’s happened in Bangor — and what hasn’t — is of interest in Revere, where residents on Tuesday will vote on a proposal to allow a $1.3 billion resort casino at Suffolk Downs, New England’s last thoroughbred racetrack.

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