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Penn National buys Bangor

Jan 13, 2004 7:05 AM

Now that he doesn’t have to deal with an individual whose ability to be licensed was in question, Maine Gov. John Baldacci may have an easier time fashioning new gaming legislation to cover the racino planned for Bangor Raceway.

Putting an end to lawsuits, as well as investigators probing into his business practices, Las Vegas Shawn Scott last week agreed to sell the Bangor harness racing facility to Penn National Gaming Inc. (PENN).

No sale price was initially announced, although insiders indicated Penn National would make an up front cash payment and would provide additional funds after it is determined just how much revenue will be generated.

As an aside, Penn National also took an option on another harness track, Vernon Downs in upstate New York, which is approved for slot machines once a valid racing license is granted. Once again, Scott encountered serious problems and initially was denied a racing license by the N.Y. Racing & Wagering Commission.

Meanwhile, Gov. Baldacci is going forward with his legislative proposal that a five-member gambling control board be created with the appointees to have full jurisdiction over Bangor and any other gaming expansion within the state. Other features of the legislation are establishing an annual licensing fee and limiting the number of video lottery machines permitted at each track.

Prior to departing Maine, Scott can at least take credit for improvements made at the aging Bangor track. Since acquiring the property from the City, Scott embarked on a $575,000 overhaul of the property.

The renovations, that included new carpeting, a fresh coat of paint and a re-sealing of a leaky roof, were completed last week.