August 18, 2019

Scott busy with racing operations

PORTLAND – Despite a holiday break in the hearing on Shawn Scott’s application for a Maine racetrack license, this has been a busy week for the Las Vegas casino developer.

Scott has filed a lawsuit in New Mexico, prepared for a new racino referendum in Idaho, and appealed the New York Racing and Wagering Board’s denial of his license to operate a racetrack in that state.

The Maine Harness Racing Commission resumes hearings Jan. 9 on Scott’s application for a license that would allow him to operate a racetrack with slot machines at Bass Park in Bangor.

The commission, which held four days of hearings last week, must determine whether Scott is financially responsible and of good moral character before granting the license.

Scott completed the purchase of Bangor Historic Track, which operates the raceway, last week. He and his company, Capital Seven LLC, launched and paid for the successful $1.5 million state referendum campaign to approve slot machines at Scarborough Downs and the Bangor track.

Since then he has been battling Scarborough Downs, which is looking for a community within five miles of its track to agree, by year’s end, to host a new track.

Scott has filed a lawsuit against Scarborough Downs, claiming it reneged on an agreement to work with him on a racino in southern Maine.

Scarborough Downs has since joined with Penn National Gaming and is working to convince voters in Saco and Westbrook to approve slot machines in elections Tuesday.

In New Mexico, Scott has filed a lawsuit to block the New Mexico Racing Commission from granting a license to one of his three competitors to develop and operate a horse racing track in Hobbs, N.M.

In New York, Scott and a business associate, Hoolae Paoa, have both appealed the state racing and wagering board’s denial of their applications for track management licenses to operate the Vernon Downs racetrack. Scott owns a controlling interest in Mid-State Raceway, the parent company for Vernon Downs.

The board determined Scott had made a false statement on his application, and cited his character as a reason for the denial. The board also denied Paoa’s license on character grounds.

In Idaho, Scott has taken preliminary steps to launch a citizen’s initiative to allow slot machines at racetracks.

In addition to the Maine referendum, Scott organized another successful voter initiative in a Louisiana county, where he gained approval to add slot machines at the Delta Downs track.

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