PORTLAND (AP) – Gambling foes on Tuesday criticized the Pennsylvania-based company that wants to operate a racetrack casino in Bangor for funding efforts create a second racino at a harness-racing track in southern Maine.

Casinos No! spokesman Dennis Bailey released a shareholder document that shows Penn National has agreed to pay for lobbying and legal fees for five years as part of Scarborough Downs’ effort to have slot machines installed.

Because Penn National has not given up on the idea of a racino in southern Maine, Casinos No! has decided to two create two organizations to educate the public about gambling and to continue to advocate against any expansion of gambling, Bailey said.

“We know that the gambling industry is not going to go away despite several defeats in southern Maine. So we’re not going away, either,” he said.

Penn National spokesman Eric Schippers acknowledged that his company has established a relationship with Scarborough Downs but he said the company’s sole focus now is on getting its operations up and running at the Bangor Raceway.

“Our goal is a successful project in Bangor. Our sights are set on Bangor, not a facility in southern Maine, at this point,” he said.

At a news conference, Bailey said the shareholder statement issued last year underscores Penn Nation’s intent to secure another location for slot machines at a more lucrative location in the more heavily populated southern region.

The shareholder document notes that in addition to paying for lawyers and lobbyists, Penn National would pay for the design and development of a new facility and would pay Scarborough Downs a portion of the slot machine revenues.

Scarborough voters have twice rejected slots.

, once in 2000 and again in 2003 after state voters approved a proposal for racinos to be developed at existing harness-racing tracks.

Ed MacColl, lawyer for Scarborough Downs, said there’s no current effort afoot to lobby residents and the community for slots in Scarborough. But he did not rule out future attempts to get slot machines installed at the racetrack.

To fight any gambling expansion, Casinos No! has hired former House Speaker Michael Saxl’s lobbying firm in Augusta in addition to creating two organizations: The Casinos No! Foundation will be a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization focused on educating the public about casinos, and a separate Casinos No! Advocacy Group will continue the work of advocating against gambling in the legislative and public arenas.

A fund-raising letter is being mailed out to all 5,000 Casinos No! members across the state that describes the changes, Bailey said.

Casinos No! already is promoting several proposals to restrict Penn National’s activities. A bill would ban automated teller machines within 500 feet of the casino and other proposals would restrict the racino’s hours of operation and place limits on slot machines losses for patrons. Casinos No! also wants to require parking lot surveillance to ensure children are not left in cars while parents gamble inside.

Penn National opposes all four of the proposals. The executive director of the Gambling Control Board favors the current restriction on ATMs within 25 feet of slot machines, and the board itself reviewed hours of operations in other states before deciding to let the racino to remain open until 4 a.m., Schippers said.

If there are to be loss limits, those should be set by the Gambling Control Board, and Penn National already has plans for parking lot surveillance, Schippers said.

“To be clear, their (Casinos No!) only interest is in eradicating gaming in Maine. So let’s look at this for what it is – an effort to stop gaming in Maine, not to draft legislation on how gaming should be conducted,” he said.



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