Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The Associated Press
PORTLAND — Maine's newest casino had revenue of nearly $10 million in its first two months of operation, while revenue at the state's other casino has fallen since the new one opened.
The Oxford Casino is planning to add 10 more table games and hundreds more slot machines in October, a spokesman says.
AP / Robert F. Bukaty
Oxford Casino opened June 5 in the western Maine town of Oxford and had net revenue -- the amount lost by gamblers -- of $9.8 million in June and July combined. It paid nearly $4.1 million in taxes, according to the Maine Gambling Control Board.
Those numbers are strong, and revenue from the casino's table games is nearly double what was projected, said Clyde Barrow of the Northeast Gaming Research Project at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. In July, the casino won an average of $2,471 per table game per day.
"We had originally projected them to start out at about $1,300 per table per day and gradually ratchet up to $1,700," Barrow said. "Those numbers are comparable to Atlantic City."
Oxford Casino plans to add 10 table games and hundreds more slot machines in October, spokesman Scott Smith said. It now has 529 slots and 12 table games, including blackjack, craps and roulette.
"We're off to a very a good start," Smith said.
Net revenue at Hollywood Casino in Bangor, about 120 miles from Oxford, totaled $5.5 million in July, down from $5.9 million for the same month in 2011. Hollywood Casino has 923 slot machines and 16 table games.
Some of the fall-off can be attributed to the opening of Oxford Casino, said general manager John Osborne. Also, July of this year had fewer weekend days, the busiest days of the week, than July of 2011.
There's a lot of curiosity about Oxford Casino, but it's too soon to determine its long-term effect on the casino in Bangor, he said.
"We believe long-term customers will still frequent their casino of choice, and we hope that will be Hollywood Casino in Bangor," he said.
It would be surprising if Hollywood Casino didn't feel any effect of Oxford Casino's opening, Barrow said.
"That was always projected to be the case because they were going to siphon off some of the convenience gamblers in the immediate area around Oxford," Barrow said. "For a small facility, Hollywood draws people from much farther distances than would normally be the case, but that's because people don't have any alternatives. Once alternatives are presented to them, convenience gamblers will go to the closest facility."
Members of the Gambling Control Board are interested to see what impact the Oxford Casino will have on Hollywood Casino, said Patrick Fleming, executive director of the board.
"We are looking at those numbers and will be making some comparisons, but we don't have a whole lot of data at this point," Fleming said.