Biddeford racino backers launch campaign

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BIDDEFORD — Backers of a proposal to move Scarborough Downs to a Biddeford racino held dual events in Biddeford and Bangor to launch their campaign in support of the gambling referendum coming up in November.

The “Yes on 2” campaign argues that the combined racetrack/slots facility will breathe life into Maine’s harness racing industry and create jobs and tax revenue for the state. Question 2 would also allow a racino in Washington County.

The proposal is spearheaded by Ocean Properties Ltd. and Scarborough Downs. The companies have said that the racinos would create 800 short-term construction jobs and 500 full-time jobs.

But, noting declining spending on harness race betting at Scarborough Downs over the last five years, Dennis Bailey of CasinosNo! said he questions whether slot machines will be a boon to harness racing or simply a boon to the slots owners.

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