The Biddeford, Maine City Council voted this past Tuesday to put a referendum on the local November ballot: The question is whether Biddeford residents want a harness racing racino located in their town.
Since 2003, when Maine's racino law was passed, Scarborough Downs has been unable to obtain permission from residents of the city of Scarborough to open a racino at the existing racetrack, but press reports say the track has quietly been talking with Biddeford officials for several months.
On Tuesday, by a 7-2 vote, the council decided to put the question before the voters.
"This is about jobs, jobs, jobs," Biddeford Mayor Joanne Twomey was quoted as saying in the York County (Maine) Journal Tribune. "When I hear someone wants to bring jobs, I have to listen."
The reports indicate an estimated 900 racetrack jobs and 900 gaming jobs would come to Biddeford with the racino -- if approved.
In 2002, Biddeford residents voted against a $650 million casino and resort jointly proposed by two Maine Indian tribes, by a count of 4,761 to 2,964.
by John Pawlak, the U.S. Trotting Association
Courtesy of the US Trotting Association Web Newsroom