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Anti-Gambling Head Laments Lack of Funds

29 October 2003

MAINE – As reported by the (Lewiston, Maine) Sun Journal: "The head of the anti-casino campaign said his group is opposed to Question 2, which would allow up to 1,500 slot machines at horse tracks in Maine, but early in the campaign decided it didn't have the money to fight both the proposed Indian casino and the race track initiative.

"Now that the anti-casino campaign has almost ended, Dennis Bailey is second-guessing that decision.

"Three years ago, Bailey's `No Dice' group opposed and helped defeat a referendum question that would have allowed Scarborough Downs race track to have slot machines.

"Bailey said polling earlier in the campaign season indicated most voters would not split their tickets on the gambling issue. In other words, voters who rejected a casino would also reject the racetrack slots proposal, and vice versa.

"For that reason, Bailey said, the campaign decided to focus on fighting the casino question, assuming they would also be indirectly fighting the racetrack slots question.

"But things don't seem to have worked out that way. Recent polls show the Indian casino race too close to call, while the racetrack slots plan has enjoyed a comfortable lead.

"…Relative silence from the anti-casino groups, combined with a lack of public debate on the question, has sent a message to some voters that the racetrack slots proposal is a good idea, or at least benign, some pundits have said.

"Bailey said many people have said to him they wish CasinosNO! had fought both referendum questions. If there were a credible opposition campaign, Question 2 `would crumble in a minute,' Bailey predicted. `Their campaign has been below the radar. ... In retrospect we made a decision we couldn't fight both. Now, I'm not convinced of that.'

"Edward MacColl, lawyer for Scarborough Downs, sharply disagrees with Bailey that organized opposition to the racetrack plan would doom it…"

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