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Bill to approve Butte gambling center introduced


HELENA (AP) - All six members of Butte's legislative delegation have signed on to a bill that would allow creation of a huge entertainment center in Butte, with as many as 10 casinos.

House Bill 757 was introduced this week by Rep. John Witt, R-Carter, and is awaiting a hearing before the House Taxation Committee.

The 41-page bill bears the names of 25 of the 150 lawmakers. Co-sponsors included the entire Butte delegation: Sens. Dan Harrington and Debbie Shea and Reps. Larry Cyr, Steve Gallus, Jim Keane and Brad Newman, all Democrats.

The bill is being introduced on behalf of a number of developers who say they want to create an entertainment and music district in Butte dubbed Destination Montana.

They say the $1.8 billion Butte construction project include 10 casinos and 40 musical theaters, similar to those in Branson, Mo.

Destination Montana developers also unveiled this week where they intend to build a theme park: on about 1,600 acres between Montana Tech and Rocker.

''It will be quite substantial,'' said Barrett Singer, president of Foxx Industries. ''It will be a full-blown professional attraction.''

Developers would not operate the park but are negotiating with ''a number of major theme park operators'' who would design and run it.

Singer declined to name with whom Foxx Industries has been negotiating, citing confidentiality and business concerns.

''I can't tell you who, but the operators will be well-known national theme park operators,'' he said.


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