A trip to visit the two Maine casinos is usually accompanied by good food, great beer and a lot of driving. Oh yes…..there was gambling, too. Day 1 was the Oxford Casino & Hotel
We first drove to Oxford Hotel & Casino in Oxford, Maine. The Oxford Casino, owned and operated by Churchill Downs Inc., has 848 slot machines and 22 table games. and opened on June 5, 2012. It has recently gone through the addition of a connecting Hotel, and a new pub dining experience, with rotating beer taps and great craft beer from the Maine. After a five hour drive, this was our first stop. But first, check-in….
Checking was smooth and quick with friendly service. Small lobby desk, but seems to serve them well. Our room was beautiful, with electrical plugs everywhere. Within 5 minutes from getting to our room, we received a call from the front desk asking if everything was as expected, wishing us a great stay – nice touch! Amenities include refrigerator, safe, and Keureg coffee maker in a spacious enough room. The large shower had shampoo & body soap in containers attached to the wall. It was a delightful place to stay.
The Ox Pub
Good food and great beer. The new Ox Pub is a terrific addition. Before the expansion, this little casino just stood alone out in the Maine woods of Oxford, with two food options. But the Hotel, expanded parking, and this Ox Pub seems to round the casino experience. Our beer selections were the Simplicity Orange Maple Wheat from Warren, ME and ironically the Black Hog Granola Brown Ale from Oxford, (wait for it) CT! We both ordered, what else, but the Maine Lobster role with over a pound of lobster, Cole slaw and fries -highly recommended.Great service. They also are known for their Bourbon selection as well as the Maine craft brews.
Now we were ready to survey the casino area, which is very nicely hid from the dining options.
The Expanded Casino Area
It was a Saturday night – should I say more? The casino wasn’t that big in the first place, and although it’s been expanded, it was packed with people. As Bert said, “When you’re the only game in town for miles and miles around, it’s going to be a weekend draw.” The only downside to this slot laden casino on a busy night is that there are no empty machines. Even the video poker, which would total about 30 single line Game Makers were full – even with the terrible pay tables offered.
Saturday’s promotion also contributed to the number of people there. The Super 6 was every hour from 3-8PM (tailored to a mostly over 50 clientele) with both of us winning at least $2 each hour in the drawing of 6 numbers out of 20. East guest picked their own numbers. After the promo was done, the crowd thinned, and there were more opportunities to play.
With no night club, bowling alley, DJ, or entertainment venue (not even a little lounge act) this is not the place that caters to a younger crowd. The race to get millennials inside is really lost ob the owner Churchill Downs, Inc. But, it is not being missed either.
- Slots – many older slots mixed in with some of the latest. Not a lot of tall new tall cabinet machines, but would be out of place here.
- Video Poker – 7/5 JOB, 8/5 DDB at $1 level; – should I say more?
- Craps – $15 minimum on a Saturday night. Two tables.
- Blackjack – 3/2 pays, dealer hits on soft 17, 6 deck shoes. Some with Progressive Blazing 7’s side bet. $15 minimum on weekends, most $25. Morning had a special $3 BJ table!
- Other table games included were Roulette, Ultimate Texas Holdem, 3 Card Poker, Spanish 21, Mississippi Stud Poker, and Mini-Baccarat (which didn’t seem very popular.)
- There is a high limit room, big enough for a craps table, blackjack table and one more not recognized.
- $1 Coin-In = 1 Point
- Free Play or Comps: 500 Points = $1 (0.20%)
- I would assume slots would earn more points for $1 in, but no way of getting this info at this time
The breakfast buffet in the Oxford Grille, 2 of the three dining options, is very good. Brunch at the Ritz it’s not, but everything was delicious and we would thoroughly recommend this if staying at the hotel. The set-up is well done with a number of the usual breakfast stations, an omelet station, and a waffle station. At $12, this is a bargain.
The expansion is outstanding, the hotel we loved, and the service is great, even though the next closest casino is 120 miles away! Further expansion of the casino should be the next step for Churchill Downs, Inc. because this place is a winner in their portfolio.
Bert’s conclusion was “Service is very friendly, but they know they’re not the star of the show. The staff at Oxford is here to serve the guest.”
Couldn’t say it better myself!
Next, it was on to Bangor with a review of the Hollywood Hotel, Casino & Raceway. see ya next post.
Binbin & Bert.