Remember that beautiful Denise Williams/Johnny Mathis duet “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late?” Look close enough and it applies to Maine’s continued fence-sitting for more casinos. Only this time, the song would be retitled – “Too Much (Shenanigans), Too Little (Integrity) and Too Late (to compete in Maine, let alone New England).”
I just don’t get it. Is it greed? Do some people in Maine and New Hampshire still think that a casino or two will help add revenue to low financed budget areas such as education & roads? And do they really are so naive to think that it isn’t too late to compete against Wynn Everett, MGM Springfield and New York States northern casinos?
Maine has had a late surge within the past two weeks in an attempt to put more casino gambling on the legislature’s agenda. The only problem is that if you scratch deep enough, it’s only a few that want to push this on Maine’s gambling woes, and for their own personal gain.
A group linked to a controversial Las Vegas developer is working to complete a furious — and apparently expensive — signature-gathering effort to convince Maine voters to hand him rights to a York County casino via a 2016 referendum. According to Michael Shepherd of BangorDailyNews, Shawn Scott, the initiator of this melee is drawing attention in Bangor, where “a city councilor has accused petitioners of misleading tactics and a University of Maine political scientist says someone trying to recruit students told him it would pay gatherers $10 per signature or more.” Let’s see, what is Mr. Scott’s history in Maine?
- He bought the Bangor Raceway, then bankrolled a 2003 campaign to allow slot machines there, eventually selling his operations to the current operator of Hollywood Casino for a $51 million windfall.
- He was the subject of a 2003 report from the Maine Harness Racing Commission that accused him of having a web of companies demonstrating “sloppy, if not irresponsible financial management.”
- Scott was linked to 37 lawsuits in four states between 1992 and 2000. He was sued by Scarborough Downs in 2005 for allegedly undermining public support for slots there.
As an educator, I understand how financial support can be challenging to support public education, but for Mr. Scott to USE additional revenue for education as the conduit to a quick casino license is just criminal. Using the smokescreen of educational funding for Maine’s kids as the vehicle to your own gains? Shame on you Mr. Scott. Shame.
Maine legislators must see and act against this fast-track try at getting another casino.
Hollywood is struggling and still asking for a tax rebate and Oxford Casino is doing well enough with the hotel addition across the street. But let’s face it, MAINE DOES NOT NEED ANOTHER CASINO! If anything, expand Bangor’s Hollywood Casino (Hey, Penn National are you listening?), or help the Penobscots’ & the Maliseets’ chances to open class III gaming up north, enticing more Canadian tourism up north.