Maine’s third try at a casino in York County will not be the charm.
I must admit, covering another casino proposal in Maine is much like covering the NFL’s Buffalo Bills – so much promise for the season, but a championship is just never going to happen.
In this episode of “As The Maine Casino Turns,” we find a growing optimistic sentiment that Maine can enjoy the profits of a third casino and keep revenue in the state from going south to Massachusetts.
Rebecca Foster’s OpEd in CentralMaine.com, “Casino success that benefited Bangor can happen in York County,” praises the presence of Maine’s first casino saying, “By virtually any measure, the Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway has been a tremendous success…..What has worked for Maine and Mainers for more than 10 years can work once again — this time, in southern Maine.”
According to Casino.org, “A study conducted by Florida-based consulting firm Evans, Carroll & Associates claims the casino would generate 2,767 construction jobs and 2,165 permanent employment opportunities, $6.1 million in lodging revenue in the first year, and at least $45 million in tax revenue. The economic analysis was funded by lobbying organization Progress for Maine, the main supporters of the casino.” On Nov. 7, voters across the state will have the chance to weigh in and vote yes on Question 1 for a third Maine Casino.
Ethics Trouble Again?
However, in June, the Maine Ethics Commission voted unanimously to investigate the $4.3 million ballot initiative in support of building a casino in York County. Once again, Shawn Scott emerged as the fundamental party of this casino push. Refusing to give Mr. Scott and his sister Lisa Scott, being investigated by the ethics committee, more coverage than they deserve, I’ll lead you to Casino.org’s article Controversial Maine Casino Backer Finally Surfaces, Hires ‘Firm Behind Brexit’ if you are interested in more information. However back to “As the Maine Casino Turns.”
The casino is actually being touted as an entertainment center, more than just a casino with slot machines and gaming options. This will feature a concert venue, space to hold community events, and more. I guess it will mimic those other “non-casino, entertainment” venues in New England, like Wynn Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, Foxwoods, and Mohegan Sun.
Recent History Says “No”
Do we need to remind “Mainiacs” of the previous history in York County, documented by NETimeGambling?
- From 2016 – “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.” – Maine Casino Proposal – Again?
- From January, 2016 – “…are they (Maine) so naive to think that it isn’t too late to compete against Wynn Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield and New York States northern casinos? – Additional Maine Casino Gambling – Too Much, Too Little, Too Late
- From 2015 – “Remember when Maine was thinking about more casinos two years ago with the immediate success of the Oxford Casino?” – Maine Casinos – Have They Lived Their Best Days Already?
The Bottom Line
Maine deserves the benefits of another casino – more jobs, boosting neighboring economy, increased tourism, and increased state revenue. Trying to compete on the scale of Wynn Boston Harbor, only an hour away from York county, won’t do. Those wanting a resort/casino experience already drive down I-95 to Connecticut. This proposition by the “Progress For Maine” lobby group just seems shady, at best. Residents should back this proposed vote in November if the majority want it. After the brief history of the previous years, and the slow progress of it’s two casinos, I’d say Maine is good with two casinos.
NETG Alternative Proposal
Instead of a large casino to compete with Wynn, NETG believes a convenience casino, similar to Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts, would get the benefits from gambling York County in looking for. Table game players, VIP’s, will still frequent Wynn, but the low-to-mid rollers who prefer to stay closer will visit that venue – with or without the entertainment center and convention space.
If you want the gambling revenue, build something that will work in the long run, and don’t compete with the big boys. Just sayin’…..