Shawn Scott

Andrew Catalina / Maine Public

In early December of 2015, casino developer Shawn Scott and his sister Lisa Scott were ready to launch the ballot initiative that will appear as Question 1 on ballot on Tuesday. But first, they needed a name for the campaign committee.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

The Maine Ethics Commission has delayed by a few days a decision on whether to penalize the campaign behind a casino proposed for York County.  The commission is investigating whether the campaign hid the source of over $4 million in funding for more than a year.

Progress for Maine

This story was originally published at 3:35 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017.

While ethics officials in Augusta delved into the murky finances behind the campaign to permit a casino in York County on Tuesday, its lead supporter, developer Shawn Scott, was in Portland to announce he’d done a deal with organized labor for its construction.

But there’s still no guarantee that if voters support the measure, Scott would actually build the resort he is promising.

The Maine Ethics Commission has unanimously rejected a request to postpone a hearing about its investigation into the Question 1 casino campaign's funding sources.


The commission is expected to review and potentially rule on some of the findings from its probe Tuesday. But on Sunday night, the commission received a request from several of the attorneys representing the various entities funding the casino initiative to delay the meeting.


Maine Public/file

The campaign to convince Mainers to authorize a casino at an undisclosed location York County has spent close to $2.3 million over a 23-day period.

LISTEN: Maine Calling On The York County Casino Referendum

Oct 24, 2017
Andrew Catalina / Maine Public

Ballot Issue 1 on the November ballot reads: “An Act To Allow Slot Machines or a Casino in York County. Do you want to allow a certain company to operate table games and/or slot machines in York County, subject to state and local approval, with part of the profits going to the specific programs described in the initiative?” Our panelists debate the pros and cons of the ballot measure.

In what is believed to be his first public appearance in Maine in several years, controversial casino developer Shawn Scott appeared on a local radio station on Wednesday to urge voters to authorize a York County casino.

Scott’s advocacy for Question 1 came on the same day that he and some of HIS associates were a no-show at a legislative hearing called to shed light on a heavily scrutinized campaign that’s under investigation by the Maine Ethics Commission.

In less than a month, Maine voters will decide whether to permit a casino to open up at a so-far undecided location in York County. Opinions in the county’s business community vary sharply about whether a casino would help their economic prospects or hurt them.

In the former mill towns of Biddeford and Saco, which straddle the Saco River, there’s a buzz in the air.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

Gambling developer Shawn Scott’s campaign to convince Mainers to approve a casino at an undisclosed location in York County began nearly two years ago with over $20,000 in refunds for bus tickets, airfare, rental cars and hotel rooms.

Joel Page / Associated Press/file

The political action committee opposing a proposed casino in York County has launched a website fiercely attacking the controversial gambling developer who could profit if voters approve Question 1 in November.

The website,, pulls few punches. And it targets the long trail of investigations, lawsuits and licensing denials left by casino developer Shawn Scott and his business associates.

Progress for Maine

Backers of a ballot initiative that could pave the way for a casino in York County publicized a website and released architectural renderings for the building Thursday. The group also says Old Orchard Beach is one town under consideration for the facility, if it’s approved by Maine voters in November.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

The sister of controversial gambling developer Shawn Scott says she’s stepping down from the embattled campaign to convince voters to allow a casino in York County.


Miami resident Lisa Scott announced in a press statement that she’s disengaging from the campaign “given that it appears my past involvement has become a distraction from the real issue at hand: Construction of a facility that will provide the residents of Maine with new economic growth, jobs, and funding for K-12 education and other vital programs.”

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

A controversial casino campaign already under investigation by the state agency that enforces election laws is about to get a new level of scrutiny from the Legislature.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

The controversial ballot campaign hoping to convince voters to approve a casino in York County has hired the same Washington D.C. consulting firm that helped convince British voters to withdraw from the European Union last year.

The effort to get voter approval for a York County casino appears to be entering its next and more active stage, with a new political action committee and some experienced campaign consultants coming on board.