Let’s clear up some myths and look a little deeper than just the hype about a casino.
The biggest myth is that a casino in Scarborough will save harness racing, yet after injecting nearly $80 million into the Maine harness racing industry in recent years, it continues to fail. How will adding a casino in Scarborough change what $80 million has been unable to?
The legislation that failed recently was designed specifically for Scarborough Downs. Talk about special interests. Legislators were led down the primrose path, and many said, as a talking point, they were working to make sure Scarborough residents were allowed to vote. Huh? There was nothing in the bill that did anything more than is already in the current law which, by the way, was amended in 2011 to allow the Town Council to vote without a municipal referendum. The bill took it farther to remove the mandate for a statewide vote for a casino. All this designed to benefit one business.
Then there are the promises. The bill called for 1 percent and was amended to 1.5 percent of the net for Scarborough’s general fund. Definitely not a windfall considering the services it will need. But more importantly, this money may never reach the schools. I haven’t been aware of a Scarborough Town Council in recent history that’s said the schools need more money.
When we’re asked to vote for a c(r)acino in Scarborough again, let’s explore beyond the propaganda.
Karen A D’Andrea