Maine residents have already shown resistance to a third casino in their state – even after a study a few years ago concluded another casino in York County might be feasible. But, much like we have seen in New Hampshire, a third Vegas-style casino in Maine has been an on-again, off-again proposition – mostly off.
The Maine Senate this year rejected a bill to create a casino in Cumberland or York counties. A separate effort to put a casino on the ballot failed because supporters didn’t get enough signatures to put the proposal on the ballot.
Organizers of an effort to have Maine voters allow new slot machines or a casino in York County have told the state it has enough signatures – again. Let’s remember, a separate effort to put a casino on the ballot failed this past year because supporters didn’t get enough signatures to put the proposal on the ballot. Matter of fact, the secretary of state’s office said the effort fell short because tens of thousands of signatures were invalid.
With Hollywood Bangor trying to maintain stability after a series of months with declining revenue, and Oxford Casino expanding and adding a hotel, this isn’t the time to add another casino. Hollywood still doesn’t seem to attract Canadian gamblers from New Brunswick 2 hours away. Another casino will only take away the positive revenue from Oxford Casino, in Oxford, Maine, which is expanding.
The 93-room hotel Hampton Inn Oxford just opened in walking distance across the street, and late next year, Oxford Casino’s own hotel will be open. Oxford has been off-setting Hollywood’s decline for months.
The one good reason for another casino would be revenue from New Hampshire residents, who seem content with their charitable poker rooms. But, in 2019, the draw of Wynn Boston Harbor will add more strain to Maine’s casinos – especially one in York County.
When will states learn to look elsewhere for stable revenue? Obviously, in New England, some legislators have blinders on, only looking for the quick fix to revenue problems. At this point, I think enough is enough.
What do you think?
Are there enough casinos in New England? Too many? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.