Casino project in Maine blocked by competitors

Casino operators Penn National and Churchill Downs have a tight grip on the state’s politics.
Casino operators Penn National and Churchill Downs have a tight grip on the state’s politics.

The existing two casinos in Maine, keep the competition at bay with the help of lobbyists.

US.- A Las Vegas casino operator wants to build a casino between Portland and New Hampshire. Maine’s existing casinos located in Bangor, operated by Penn National, and Oxford, run by Churchill Downs, have created a complicated web of lobbyists to prevent lawmakers to issue casino licenses in the state. Well aware of this situation, the newcomer is bankrolling a campaign to take this matter to a referendum this fall and let the voters, instead of the lawmakers, decide if they want another casino or not.

Dennis Bailey, a public relations specialist explained, “The casinos are the biggest anticasino force in the state, by far. They clobber the opposition because they’ve got the money to do it.”

Ironically, there is a very odd alliance between Christian groups and Penn National and Churchill Downs to oppose new casinos. “They are willing to invest without restraint in the political process,” commented Carroll Conley, executive director of the Christian Civic League. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend, I guess.”