The Maine Gambling Control Board released figures recently this week that show slot machine revenue nearly flat last year at the state’s two casinos. “It’s a fickle industry to predict,” said Patrick Fleming, the control board’s executive director. According to sources, Mr. Fleming also considered bad weather a negative influence on the casinos’ take – three more snowstorms than usual in December.
Then, an experiment – Hollywood Casino made the unusual move of staying open around the clock the week after Christmas. Oxford Casino has been open 24/7 since it opened. The experiment has been short-lived, since Hollywood has returned to operational times of 8:00 am – 3:00am.
“When Oxford first opened up, there was a significant impact on Bangor, somewhere in the nature of 20 percent,” Fleming said. “We’ve been kind of waiting and tracking this to see if Bangor was going to level out. You figure the players in Maine have figured out where they’re going to go.”
Oxford, too, may have leveled off to a new normal after an initial honeymoon period.
Oxford Casino ended the year with 846 slot machines and 26 table games. Hollywood Casino had 900 slots and 16 table games. The legislature continues to consider adding up to two more casinos in Maine. But with the latest plateau in revenue, adding more casinos should be considered a major gamble at this point.
That’s all for now.