There are still some hurdles to clear before the sale is final.

PORTLAND (AP) – Las Vegas developer Shawn Scott stands to make nearly 10 times his investment when the sale of Bangor Historic Track is completed, according to the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Gaming analysts contacted by the newspaper said Scott could receive $30 million from the sale.

Scott paid $1 million for Bangor Historic Track. He also spent $1.5 million on a statewide referendum to allow slot machines at racetracks, along with $575,000 on grandstand improvements.

He also spent an unknown amount helping to defeat Scarborough Downs’ efforts to create a racino in Westbrook or Saco.

Scott announced the deal last week to sell Bangor Historic Track to former adversary Penn National Gaming. A conditional license will be issued once the transfer of stock is completed this week.

Neither Scott nor Penn National Gaming, a publicly traded company, would put a price on Scott’s interest in Bangor Historic Track.

The sale is not final. Penn National will not complete the deal unless the track operator receives state racing and slot licenses, and a development contract from the city of Bangor.

Fred Nichols, former general manager of Bangor Historic Track, praised Scott for risking millions of dollars on a campaign for slot machines at racetracks knowing that state voters rejected a similar proposal two years before.

“He took an interest in a track scrambling to make ends meet, and there was no guarantee he could get it passed. He knew it would be expensive, but he did it and worked hard at it,” Nichols said.

Scott, through his company Capital Seven LLC, crafted a referendum question that arranged for a track license holder to retain 75 percent of gross slot profits. The law gives the racetrack operator the biggest payout of any state that allows slot machines at tracks.

Scott had said he was committed to the Bangor project, which involved a $30 million hotel and entertainment complex.

But he announced last week that he was selling his interest to avoid hindering the project. He said he had become a lightning rod for criticism after a state investigation raised questions about his business partners and the accounting practices of some of his businesses.

Bangor City Councilor David Nealley, an executive vice president of Capital Seven, said he thinks Scott gave voters a way to create new jobs and preserve a traditional industry.

“We believed his project would be good, not only for Maine’s harness racing community, and not only for the raceway, but for the whole state of Maine,” he said.

But not everyone was happy about Scott’s tactics and business practices.

Bangor City Councilor Gerry Palmer Jr. credits Scott with getting voters to legalize slot machines at the state’s commercial racetracks, but said Scott harmed the reputation of the state’s horsemen.

“If I could pay for his ticket, I’d be glad to, to get him out of the state,” Palmer said.

AP-ES-01-11-04 1456EST

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