Last election cycle we had a referendum to approve or deny an attempt to build a casino in Maine’s western area, specifically the Oxford Hills region. It was turned down by the voters. An MPBN report says that yet another group is studying the prospect of still another casino for the area. MPBN says; The group of prominent businesspeople has formed a PAC called Black Bear Entertainment to explore the idea of pursuing a casino in Oxford County, an idea that Maine voters rejected just last year. I can’t help but wonder why? The government of Maine wants to keep its near monopoly on the gambling industry by prohibiting such businesses from expanding beyond what we already have. Or at least that is the perception they generate by attacking private enterprise when it comes to opening new opportunities for us to throw money away.
I made the point of supporting new casinos while I was publishing under Dan’s Maine View on the Maine Casino Question. I still hold to that position, and support the expansion of gambling in Maine. After all, it is an alternative revenue stream beyond what we already have, isn’t it? Times are tough, and they’re going to get tougher no matter how you paint the picture. By encouraging the growth of new businesses, the state stands to make new money when the supply of tax revenue is drying up. But we won’t do that.
Out of one side of our mouth we want to brag that we are a go to state for vacationers and tourists. But out of the other side we keep blocking the potential we could achieve by being too restrictive towards new business and construction. We fail to keep our infrastructure up to par while encouraging the growth of a negative state GDP and increasing the welfare state. We fail to allow new jobs to be created. Jobs are what drives the economy, not government bailouts and regulation.
There isn’t much information yet on this group, Black Bear Entertainment PAC, but let’s hope they put a little different spin on what they are doing as compared to the last group. While I can’t say as I would support a community styled as a Las Vegas in Maine, the idea does have some appeal. These casino jobs aren’t the best paying jobs you can find, but they are jobs. And if a day care center were to spring up from the issue that would allow for affordable childcare for parents who may find work in a casino, so much the better. A lot of people could be removed from the taxpayer subsidized welfare rolls and returned to a productive and positive work environment. Who knows, maybe a casino could be a springboard for people to enter into the hospitality industry and greatly improve upon their own conditions?
Another positive aspect is that a new tax could be instituted from the income of your winnings at the casino, withdrawn directly from won monies of course, much as the sales tax is now.
Don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to what these folks have to say about Maine’s future. After all, surviving the economy is all part of surviving the times, isn’t it?