Maine casino inspectors clash with executive director of Gambling Control Unit

June 24, 2024 7:51 PM
Photo: Milt Champion, Executive Director, Maine Gambling Control Unit
  • Sam Bentham, Special to CDC Gaming Reports
June 24, 2024 7:51 PM
  • Sam Bentham, Special to CDC Gaming Reports

Maine’s nine casino inspectors have registered multiple complaints over the conduct of Milt Champion, Maine Gambling Control Unit executive director, with the latest grievance was recently submitted through the Maine Service Employees Association.

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Champion reportedly altered shift patterns so that no inspections are carried out in Maine’s two casinos on Sundays and Mondays. Inspectors claim that in addition to the casinos not being subject to audits these days, the move creates a toxic workplace and prevents them from earning holidays and overtime pay.

While not sharing details about the complaints as cases are pending, the Maine Service Employees Association noted that members had met with Public Safety Commissioner Michael Suaschuck to file grievances on behalf of the casino inspectors formally.

Mark Brunton, president of the Maine Service Employees Association, said the union is working to ensure inspectors can “continue providing the same high level of public service to our state’s residents and casinos that they have for many years.”

The casino inspectors are not the only ones bringing the heat on Champion. Sen. Joe Baldacci publicly blasted the state for not launching retail sports betting despite measures allowing this type of gambling to pass two years ago. Before contacting the Maine Service Employees Association, the inspectors sent Balducci a letter outlining Champion’s “extremely questionable ethics.”

Champion started as executive director in 2016 under Gov. Paul LePage. He previously served as the head of Florida’s pari-mutuel wagering division. He resigned from that role, citing pressure on him to support betting on rodeo-style barrel racing.