It has been eight months since the Oxford Casino opened. At the time, many were nervous about how a gambling facility would affect the western Maine community, but where do things stand now?
Many of the anti-casino voices have fallen silent. One member of an opposition group said, “So far, so good.”
There appears to be a consensus that the Oxford casino is a bet that has paid off. Here’s some of the proof:
- Slot machines and table games at the Oxford Casino raked in more than $35.5 million in 2012.
- The casino reports that 80 percent of its customers were from Maine.
- The state taxes the take from the table games and the slot machines gave nearly $15 million to the state. Included in that is more than $8 million to K-12 education and about $2 million for higher education scholarships. $750,000 also went to the town of Oxford.
- The casino has created 450 full-time jobs, with 95 percent coming from local communities.
“We’ve delivered on the promise of what we envisioned,” said casino manager Jack Sours.
“We’re buying our uniforms locally. Our landscaping is local. Our decorations are local. Our snow-plowing is local, so we have an economic cascade within the community that is very much an economic engine for the community,” said Sours.
Local merchants are excited by the increase in revenue. Some seasonal lodging has gone full-time and doubled staff due to casino patrons.
Not only were there questions about how the casino would affect the local economy, but also whether crime would spike once the operation was up and running. However, that has turned out to be false up to this point.
Opponents of the casino said to wait a few years before deciding if the casino was a success for the community.
Pretty great for a part of the country that has been reeling downward from the poor economy. I think it’s time for a Royal field trip!
That’s all for now!