New Renderings Show What York County Casino Could Look Like

Sep 8, 2017

Backers of a ballot initiative that could pave the way for a casino in York County publicized a website and released architectural renderings for the building Thursday. The group also says Old Orchard Beach is one town under consideration for the facility, if it’s approved by Maine voters in November.

Progress for Maine is a political action committee formed last month to promote the casino as an economic boon for York County and the state. Spokesman Michael Sherry says it would be more than just a gambling hall — it would include a venue for concerts and other shows.

He says Old Orchard Beach is being considered for the host community.

“But it’s not the only place, and we don’t want people to feel like Old Orchard Beach is a done deal, because really the way this will shake out it’s going to be a collaborative process, and it’s going to be a process that lets the voters within York County, if Question 1 were to pass, to decide for themselves where it will go,” Sherry says.

He declined to name other towns that might be in consideration.

The ballot initiative itself is written in a way that benefits only one company, controlled by casino entrepreneur Shawn Scott. He was the prime mover behind a ballot measure that allowed the establishment of the state’s first modern casino in Bangor.

Ellsworth state Rep. Louis Luchini, who closely follows gambling issues, says the pro-casino campaign is already misleading voters.

“The fact remains that only one group can win this casino. And that group’s from out of state and has overseas investors that appear to be from Asia. And this group has continually tried to hide who those investors are,” he says.

A state ethics commission investigation of the finances behind the casino effort and possible campaign finance violations is ongoing.

This story was originally published Sept. 7, 2017, at 12:14 p.m. ET.