04/01/2014 02:33 EDT | Updated 06/01/2014 05:59 EDT

Maine panel approves bill to study expanding gambling in the state

AUGUSTA, Maine - A Maine legislative panel has approved a bill to have the state study the market potential for building more casinos in the state.

The veteran and legal affairs committee unanimously endorsed the measure today.

The bill directs Maine to contract with a consultant to study whether a market exists for more slot machines in the state.

Once the study is done, lawmakers would work on developing a comprehensive process for regulating future gambling expansion.

The bill comes on the heels of the rejection of several gambling proposals in the legislature last week.

The Senate killed bills that would have allowed Scarborough Downs and the state's native bands ask voters if they can operate casinos.

Maine has two casinos in Oxford and Bangor.