With about 90 percent of precincts reporting, Question 1 on the ballot was losing by a whopping 83 percent to 17 percent. Question 1 referred to the approval of a third casino in Maine somewhere in York County.
The question would have allowed only one company, Scott’s Capital Seven, to apply for a casino license that state officials estimated would be worth as much as $200 million. The ballot measure would have required Scott’s company to pay a $5 million licensing fee to the state.
Roy Lenardson, spokesman for A Bad Deal for Maine, a political action committee that opposed the casino, said in an interview that voters deserved credit for seeing through a flawed ballot question.
“We’ve heard a lot lately about voters being tricked by ballot questions, but this is vindication of the Maine voter,” Lenardson said. “As much as I would like to take credit for this, it’s a case of democracy working. Everybody did their job, from the governor to the Legislature to the (Maine) ethics commission to the media, who dove into this story. Voters got the information they needed and they made a good decision.”
Is it really a surprise? No to NETG. Maine voters have disapproved a third casino before, and with the seemingly one-sided, under-handed plan by Shawn Scott & company, and the ethics committee getting involved, this was surely limping into the vote like “queen-seven of spades” at a Texas Holdem poker game.
Now Maine voters who are against additional gaming can revel in non-expansion.
Scott Thistle’s article in the Portland Press Herald quoted Denise Dionne, one of several South Portland residents who said they voted against the casino referendum. She thinks those voted against can be summed up to 3 reasons:
- they didn’t like the kind of jobs it would create
- they didn’t trust the project’s backers
- they just didn’t want another casino in Maine.
“I don’t want it,” said Dionne, 54, a home renovator. “Go somewhere else. Do they have to be everywhere?”
As far as Maine is concerned, no they don’t!