As election season moves into full swing, Question 1 in Maine in 2017 is quickly becoming the most popular one on the ballot. You can hardly walk into a restaurant in Bangor or a shop in Portland without someone asking how you plan to vote on Question one in Maine. While there is a lot of literature about the ballot measure, informed voters typically arrive at one conclusion: yes is the right way to vote on Question 1.
It Is Easy to Understand
Most ballot measures can be full of legalese, but Question 1 is easy to understand. Simply put, the measure authorizes the construction of a gaming and entertainment venue in York County. The additional tax revenue from the venue benefits education, senior citizens, Native Americans, veterans’ groups, and other causes. The provision also helps treat and prevent gambling addiction.
It Has Worked Before
As you probably know, voters have previously approved gaming in Bangor and Oxford Counties. The benefits to these areas have been easy to calculate. Not only have individual households received significant financial advantages, the regions around these counties have experienced economic revitalization. Now, voters have an opportunity to extend the economic benefits to York County, a place that has not experienced significant economic growth in recent years.
An economic impact study determined that households in York County can expect about a $100 million influx in additional revenue during the construction phase of the project. Then, they can plan for an additional $64.5 million per year after the project is completed. The economic benefits involve nearly 3,000 construction-related jobs and more than 2,100 long-term positions. For those living in and around York County, the economic boon is hard to overstate.
It Keeps Gamers Safe
Voting to approving a gaming and entertainment venue can be a difficult choice for anyone who wants to prevent gambling addiction. Question one in Maine in 2017 provides for additional funding for the Gambling Addiction Prevention and Treatment Fund. Instead of ignoring the harm associated with gambling addiction, this ballot measure addresses it head on. Similarly, after legalizing gaming in Oxford and Bangor Counties, voters did not see an unpredictable rise in gambling addiction in the state. Therefore, there is little reason to expect that allowing a gaming and entertainment venue in York County will be any different.
It Helps Other Businesses
All areas of Maine depend on tourism dollars for economic growth. Those who want to realize economic expansion, understand the need to increase the tourism season. By approving the construction of an entertainment and gaming venue in York County, voters can help other businesses. When tourists visit York County for gaming, they will likely spend money in other businesses. Restaurants, shops, venues, and other places will then benefit from the economic influx. Of course, additional customers will require business owners to hire extra help. They may also raise wages. As such, building a gaming and entertainment venue in York County will likely have an economic ripple effect throughout the region.
It Keeps Gaming in Check
Finally, you don’t have to worry about Maine turning into Las Vegas if you vote in favor of Question 1. Drafters of the provision have worked hard to contain gaming to Oxford, Bangor, and York Counties. With a yes vote, you can encourage economic expansion while guaranteeing that Maine always feels like Maine. Even better, you can boost important programs and help vulnerable groups by agreeing to allow construction of a gaming and entertainment venue in York County.
How are you voting on Question 1 in Maine in 2017? After reviewing the measure, its related literature, and other information, you will likely decide to vote yes on Question 1.