The Maine Casino Question…

Posted: 31/10/2008 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,
Question 2: Citizen Initiative
Do you want to allow a certain Maine company to have the only casino in Maine, to be located in Oxford County, if part of the revenue is used to fund specific state programs?
The Casino Question

Have you ever noticed how hypocritical we are as a state? Take the casino question, #2 on next Tuesday’s ballot, for instance. The general gist of the opposition to this question is that Maine doesn’t want gambling to take place within the state borders. OK, that’s fine if it were true, but it’s not. Maine embraces gambling, and the hundreds of millions of dollars the pastime generates every year for the state. Games of chance abound, and can be had in practically every corner store from Kittery to Madawaska and beyond.
Perhaps what the opposition is saying is that they don’t want competition for their own games of chance, aka gambling. We’ve already got the Powerball, Megabucks, Pick Three and Pick Four, scores of scratch ticket games as an organized gambling ring controlled by the state, eager to use the money to fill it’s nearly empty coffers.
Then there are all of the Bingo and Beano games being held in church halls and VFW posts across the state. Heck, even McDonalds hosts a game of chance. So is the question really about gambling? I think not. I believe the question is more one of control, rather than do we want to allow gambling to take place in Maine. What about all of the harness racing that brings income and people to the state fairs? The Racino in Bangor? High stakes bingo in Old Town? Gambling is a part of life in Maine, good or bad, and it’s here to stay, and it will grow. It has to, it’s the nature of the beast.
When it comes to casinos, I believe the state doesn’t want them because they will not be able to garner as large a percentage of income as they do with the lottery games they are hosting, and encouraging people to gamble away their earnings on. So to argue whether the point as to whether or not to allow casinos is pointless. Let them in and grab the tax dollars from them while the grabbing is good.
This casino to be built in Oxford county is reported to be planning on hiring over nine hundred employs after it opens. That’s a lot of jobs for an economically challenged area, such as Oxford county is. Why shouldn’t they be allowed a chance to grab some of the tourist dollars the industry can bring in? After all, LURC gave the go ahead for Plum Creek to develop the dickens out of the Moosehead region because of the tourist dollars they’ll be generating, right?
The only problem that I have with this question is that it asks if we want one company to have a monopoly on the casino business in Maine. I think it would be better if the question simply asked if we want to approve of allowing casinos to be operated in Maine. What good is one casino in relation to the entire state? Shouldn’t Aroostook be allowed a chance to have one as well?
And don’t start in with the crap about all the bad stuff that casinos cause. If it weren’t for the people that frequent the casinos, there wouldn’t be the problems. People need to be held responsible for their actions. If they can’t handle the gambling scene, they shouldn’t participate.
We have a chance to do a few things here, and we can do them right if we’re not stupid about how we go about it. For one thing, we have the potential for another revenue stream to fund Baldacci’s failing government and all of those pet programs, like Dirigo, the has been health program. Actually, Dirigo should be shot in the head and buried behind the barn, like any other useless and dying horse. Why let it linger in the hopes that it may get enough sympathy business to stay afloat.
But anyway, the state can benefit from a cut of the purse, the county and community can benefit from the property taxes, and the feds can suck up some income taxes at the same time. In what way is that a bad thing?
Maine has already said, by approving the Plum Creek plan that they want to become a second class state by catering to people from away. Why aren’t we going full force on this casino issue? Vote yes on #2 and let’s roll the dice into the future, shall we? It’s an excellent chance to solidify our choice to become the place to go to.

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