Maine has casinos in Bangor (Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway) and in Oxford (Oxford Casino). Both have been doing quite well these past two years. I recently commented on a new study that showed South Maine is fertile ground for another casino – or two.
Representatives of the Passamaquoddy Tribe and the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians say after the defeat of their casinos proposals last session, the study gives them hope that their efforts will be successful in the coming year. You see, that survey found that a smaller facility could be built in Aroostook or Washington County, with preference given to the tribes to operate it. A casino in Houlton would create as many as 600 jobs during its construction and employ 150 people once it’s built, said Henry John Bear, the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians’ representative in the Maine House. Both the Malisett & the Passamaquaddy tribes contend that casinos are their best shot for creating jobs and generating revenue for things like education in communities that struggle with consistently high unemployment and little economic development.
Oxford & Hollywood are vehemently opposed – wow, that’s a surprise. With what I’ve seen, Oxford isn’t big enough to serve the numbers of gamblers that are pleased with what it offers. Often, it’s just too crowded. Remember the mustang giveaway last year when a large group of people had to wait to hear the results because the casino had reached MAX capacity? In the many years of covering casinos, I have never heard of that EVER happening.
So, what’s wrong with a little competition? And what if they are small facilities? Haven’t Maine’s Indian Tribes waited long enough while seeing their interests and needs taken by two independent gambling business not even founded in Maine? (Oxford is owned by Churchill Downs, Kentucky and Hollywood is owned by Penn Gaming, Pennsylvania).
These and other questions coming up…….sooner or later.
In the mean time, that’s all for now.