Gov. Paul LePage said today that the state of Maine is too small to support the five casinos it would have if every pro-casino measure on the ballot is approved next Tuesday.
"I have a degree in finance and economics and I do not see how five casinos in Maine can be sustained," LePage said, in a statement. "We have a population of 1.3 million and we earn 82 percent of the national average per capita income. Connecticut has 3.5 million people and they can barely support two casinos."
Separate ballot measures would provide for two racetrack gaming facilities and a casino in downtown Lewiston. Hollywood Slots Hotel and Raceway has been operated by Penn National in Bangor since 2005, and Black Bear Entertainment is constructing a casino in Oxford, which was approved in a ballot initiative last November.
The Governor’s statement drew fire from supporters of the casino development measures, who noted that LePage had previously pledged not to pass judgment and let voters decide their fate. Lewiston Mayor Larry Gilbert, who supports the proposed casino in his city's downtown, told theAssociated Pressthat the governor in essence was taking a position against both proposals.
"I find it strange he's doing this at this time a few days before the election when he said way back he was going to leave it to the voters of Maine," he said.
Maine's Gov. says five casinos are too many
November 4, 2011