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Voters say "yes" to welcoming Scarborough Downs to a new home
Tuesday, November 2, 2010 - by John Pawlak, the U.S. Trotting Association

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Columbus, OH --- Residents of the City of Biddeford, Maine have said they will welcome Scarborough Downs and its planned racino.

In a vote on Tuesday (Nov. 2), the question passed, handily, by a 4,643-to-3,244 margin.

The $125 million proposed project, to be named Biddeford Downs, must now also pass the local planning process and need a change in state law if a statewide referendum is approved to open a casino at Oxford, Maine because the Oxford proposal contains a 100-mile exclusion zone for other casinos or racinos.

"Partnering with Ocean Properties and the City of Biddeford on this project will save Maine harness and keep our industry robust,” Sharon Terry, owner of Scarborough Downs, was quoted as saying in a press release issued on late Tuesday evening by Ocean Properties, which will partner with Terry in Biddeford Downs.

“In addition, this project and harness racing are important in preserving open space and working family farms. I know I speak for thousands of Mainers on family farms associated with harness racing when I say, 'Thank you to the residents of Biddeford; your support and confidence are bringing new hope to our proud industry.'"

Scarborough Downs attorney Ed MacColl, quoted in the same release, explained, "Biddeford Downs requires a correction in the unfair deadline in Maine's existing racino law, and the Oxford referendum, if successful, includes other language that we'll need to correct.

“We are confident, though, that the Maine legislature, which has always been a great friend of harness racing, and the people of Maine, will understand that Biddeford Downs is an important opportunity, and that the needed statutory changes are a matter of common sense and fundamental fairness."

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