This Monday saw the announcement that the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices has come to the conclusion in relation to the York County casino referendum. All members of the Commission have agreed that the authorities should not postpone the actions against the supporters of the new casino. As it is known next week there is going to be an election in the state and the potential actions against the supporters should not be postponed after it.
Following the announcement, the members of the regulator continued the discussion during the closed-door executive session. According to their schedule, they had to reach a unanimous decision as to what part of the financial information which was gathered from the people financing the ballot question campaign is going to be publicly disclosed to the community. Among the people interested in financing the said campaign was Lisa Scott, a real estate developer from Miami.
The community is well-aware of the fact that Ms. Scott is also the sister of Shawn Scott, who is the casino entrepreneur responsible for the referendum. Experts consider this situation a conflict of interests of sorts because of the casino construction proposal. On 7th November the ballot will feature the question for the casino directed towards the public, and the eventual approval of the project is going to grant the company Capital 7 with the exclusive rights for construction.
Capital 7 is a Nevada-listed legal entity owned by Mr. Scott and the ballot is going to make it the only one complying with the rules for applying for a casino license for building a casino venue. The potential location for the construction is yet-to-be-discussed, but it is known that it will be located somewhere in the York County. The supporters of the project have estimated that the eventual approval is going to bring fresh money in the state of Maine.
Consequences from the Approval
As much as $11 million is going to be dedicated to public schools, $3 million to property tax relief, $3 million to college scholarships, $1.2 million to the host community, $15 million to the horse-racing industry, $1.9 million to the state’s General Fund, and $216,872 to veterans groups. Back in 2003, there was another vote in relation to the gambling industry in the state and Mr, Scott was involved again. He proposed the adding of slot machines to the horse track in Bangor and this introduced the first casino location in the state.
After a while, he sold the facility to Penn National and the casino operator oversees the location to this day. Nowadays it goes by the name of Hollywood Casino and it is one of the two working casino venues in the state. During the two years leading to the ballot, Lisa Scott invested some $4.5 million into gathering enough signatures.