7 Recent & Popular Gambling Posts You Might Have Missed

It’s supposed to be cold here in the winter time – which is officially 6 weeks away. Some of my best memories is going to a casino in a snow storm, having the casino all to myself while the snow falls and cancels event after event. School snow days are the best.

So before winter settles in, let’s take you back a few weeks to the best received posts from the past two weeks. 

But first some gambling humor:

Wife:”My husband’s going to a casino in central Asia.”
Friend:”Tibet?”
Wife:”Of course, why else would he go!”

And now, the best of recent weeks. HERE’S WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED!

7 New England Casinos by the Numbers

a continuous fave on the hit parade – gambling stats include games, # of tables, # of slots, hotel accommodations, dining, entertainment……well complete coverage of all seven “by the numbers.”

 

 

Three posts to understand Maine’s third casino proposal in York County and it’s failure.

October 18th, 2017 – Referendum for Maine’s Third Casino Arriving Soon

November 7th, 2017 – Today’s the Day – The Vote for a Third Maine Casino

November 11th, 2017 – Maine’s Voters Respond – No Third Casino For You!

From the Archives, still popular this week:

Slot Machines – When to Play Max Bet  

……when should I hit that bet max button. Max Bet or Maximum Bet is the highest amount of coins or credits you can play in a single spin. The answer to the question depends on the machine being played…….

 

 

November 1st, 2017 – MGM Springfield Releases New Details with Local Flavor

It seems MGM has some very keen interest in our unique New England heritage.

October 29th – Cardless Casino Players Clubs

Will there ever be a time when the only players club card you need will be your smart phone?  Read on….

 

Have a great week!

Binbin

 

Today’s the Day – The Vote for a Third Maine Casino

A rendering of the proposed York County Casino, courtesy of the Portland Press Herald

Well, today’s the day that Maine decides if York County will be the site for Maine’s third casino. The referendum is written to allow only one person, Shawn Scott, to apply for a permit to build a casino at an unspecified location in York County. Scott is an international gambling entrepreneur who won voter approval to add slot machines to Bangor’s struggling horse track in 2003. He then sold those rights to Penn National – which still operates what is now Hollywood Casino – for $51 million as regulators scrutinized his businesses and associates.  For a related articles, click on Maine’s Third Casino A Bad Bet  and Maine’s Third Casino – The Ultimate Scam Allowed by No Legislative Policy

Shawn Scott, on the right, with attorney Courtesy Herald Press

THE CRITICS

CRITIC #1 – A political action committee called A Bad Deal for Maine that opposes a ballot initiative asking voters to approve a casino in York County has spent just over $600,000 on its campaign, according to state election finance reports. The PAC’s expenditures were funded almost entirely by $700,000 in donations from Black Bear Development LLC, the business name for Oxford Casino, which is owned by the Kentucky-based Churchill Downs Inc., the Maine casino that could lose most from the competition.

CRITIC #2 – Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage is urging voters to oppose a ballot initiative to build a casino in York County, saying it was all about greed. LePage said. “It’s a stacked deck. Once again, Maine’s referendum process has been hijacked by big money, out-of-state interests hoping to pull the wool over your eyes.”

The Sockalexis Bingo Palace on Passamaquody reservation. BANGOR DAILY NEWS FILE PHOTO BY JOHN CLARK RUSS

CRITIC #3 – Leaders of the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes spoke out Thursday against the proposed York County casino. “If approved, Question 1 would stand to directly injure the Passamaquoddy Tribe and the Penobscot Nation by significantly reducing financial support that the tribes currently receive under a voter-approved revenue sharing agreement with Oxford Casino,” said Penobscot Chief Kirk Francis, Passamaquoddy-Indian Township Chief William Nicholas and Passamaquoddy-Pleasant Point Chief Ralph Dana.

CRITIC #4 – We at NETG still think that a third casino closer to Wynn Boston Harbor (Oxford & Hollywood are more north) will not be able to compete with the Mega-Resort/Casino and will not do what the pro-casino group Progress for Maine expects.

 

PRO CASINO GROUPS

Progress For Maine wants casino legislation

PRO #1 – One of Maine’s four federally recognized Indian tribes, the Aroostook Band of Micmacs, endorsed Question 1 last month following negotiations between tribal leaders and Scott. Scott’s Progress for Maine campaign agreed to help “create new non-gaming economic development opportunities for the tribe” of roughly 1,200 members in northern Maine. In announcing their support for Question 1, the Micmac leaders pointed out that revenues from the Oxford Casino only flow to the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes. The revenue “cascade” from Hollywood Casino in Bangor does not include any specific allocation to tribes.

 

 

 

PRO #2 – Progress For Maine launched a new Ad condemning Kentucky’s Churchill Downs for meddling in Maine election on Question 1.  Progress for Maine is dedicated to economic development and job growth in York County and across the entire state through the establishment of a new gaming and entertainment destination in the York County area. Progress for Maine supports a “Yes” vote on Question 1 on the statewide ballot in November. For more information visit www.ProgressforMaine.com

The full ad can be viewed here.

ETHICS REGULATORS TAKE ACTION

Maine ethics regulators on Friday levied $500,000 in fines against four political committees backing the York County casino referendum. The penalties were reduced from a sum of $4.6 million after considering mitigating factors.

VOTER TURNOUT?

According to  Scott Thistle of the Portland Press Herald, “a relatively small number of voters will decide whether to expand Medicaid and approve a casino in York County in November…..But if 2017 ends up looking anything like 2011 – the last year voters had no statewide races to decide except ballot questions on casinos – then less than half of the state’s registered voters will cast ballots.”  There is still a question whether the Pro Casino will get permission for absentee voting, and reeking havoc with the low voter turnout. Overall voter turnout in 2011 was 43 percent, as voters decided against two casino ballot questions for Lewiston and Biddeford.

As of this week, a poll shows 49% against, 40% for, (11% undecided), which is still close. A sudden surge of voters from either side could make a big difference in the turnout.

Here’s the rundown on how to vote:

Maine Question 1, the Casino or Slot Machines in York County Initiative, is on the ballot in Maine as a indirect initiated state statute on November 7, 2017.

“yes” vote supports this initiative to authorize the Maine Gambling Control Board to accept an application for a license to operate slot machines or a casino in York County, Maine.
“no” vote opposes this initiative to authorize the Maine Gambling Control Board to accept an application for a license to operate slot machines or a casino in York County, Maine.

Binbin

 

Referendum for Maine’s Third Casino Arriving Soon

A rendering of the proposed York County Casino, courtesy of the Portland Press Herald

According to  Scott Thistle of the Portland Press Herald, “a relatively small number of voters will decide whether to expand Medicaid and approve a casino in York County in November…..But if 2017 ends up looking anything like 2011 – the last year voters had no statewide races to decide except ballot questions on casinos – then less than half of the state’s registered voters will cast ballots.”  There is still a question whether the Pro Casino will get permission for absentee voting, and reeking havoc with the low voter turnout.

Overall voter turnout in 2011 was 43 percent, as voters decided against two casino ballot questions for Lewiston and Biddeford.

Shawn Scott, on the right, with attorney Courtesy Herald Press

It seems like the casino thing in Maine is like washing your hair – mix shampoo in hair, rinse out shampoo for clean hair, and repeat. However in Maine, they are always seemingly rinsing out the dirt from Shawn Scott & Co.

Economic experts continue to be skeptical about the York County casino bringing more than 2,000 jobs and $45 million in annual tax revenue to the area.  After all, the building of Oxford Casino included the prediction of $60 million in annual tax income, but has only produced about $32 million annually.

And then there is the referendum that is written to allow only one person, Shawn Scott, to apply for a permit to build a casino at an unspecified location in York County. Scott is an international gambling entrepreneur who won voter approval to add slot machines to Bangor’s struggling horse track in 2003. He then sold those rights to Penn National – which still operates what is now Hollywood Casino – for $51 million as regulators scrutinized his businesses and associates.  For a related articles, click on Maine’s Third Casino A Bad Bet  and Maine’s Third Casino – The Ultimate Scam Allowed by No Legislative Policy

Hollywood Casino, Bangor MaineThere are some who consider Hollywood Bangor a rousing success, and a great example of how casinos can help communities keep taxes down, create new jobs, spur tourism and economic development and generate additional funding for critical education, health care and agriculture priorities.  But, this is the same property that was asking for property assessment reduction in a dispute with the city of Bangor? The lower assessment that resulted from those talks stemmed largely from Hollywood Casino’s declining revenue since the opening of its main competitor, Oxford Casino. Rousing success?  Hollywood has had its slow times over the years.

Progress For Maine wants casino legislation

So, NETG still thinks that a third casino closer to Wynn Boston Harbor (Oxford & Hollywood are more north) will not be able to compete and will not do what the pro-casino group Progress for Maine wants.

Here’s the rundown on the vote:

Maine Question 1, the Casino or Slot Machines in York County Initiative, is on the ballot in Maine as a indirect initiated state statute on November 7, 2017.

“yes” vote supports this initiative to authorize the Maine Gambling Control Board to accept an application for a license to operate slot machines or a casino in York County, Maine.
“no” vote opposes this initiative to authorize the Maine Gambling Control Board to accept an application for a license to operate slot machines or a casino in York County, Maine.

The third casino’s window in Maine has closed. Another option for expanded gambling is needed to take the place of a full casino in southern Maine.

Binbin

 

Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway – Maine Trip Report

Penn National Gaming operates two of the seven casinos in New England – Plainridge Park in Plainville, MA and Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway in Bangor, ME.

The staff at NETimeGambling.com decided to visit both Maine casinos this past week.  Today, part 2, as we drive to the furthest northeast casino withing the US borders.  Today, we visit

Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway in Bangor, ME.

Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway, Bangor Maine

Hollywood Casino, Bangor, Maine

Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway – Some Background

It was the first licensed slots facility in the state, and became the first casino to be licensed in the state of Maine when it added table games to its facilities in 2012.  However, it was the third New England casino to offer Vegas style slots in 2005, after Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun in CT. Twin River, at the old Lincoln Greyhound Park in RI, did not introduce Vegas style slots, or class III, until 2007.

Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway, Bangor Maine

Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway, Bangor Maine

This facility has everything – it’s just that it’s a little bit of everything.  It is the smallest casino in New England inches behind the other Maine casino in Oxford, Maine.  It does draw from patrons from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Canada & of course Maine.

This makes our 4th trip to Bangor casino.  Only two hours away from Oxford we decided to eat first.  Dining later – let’s talk casino!

Level three of Five in the Marquee Rewards Program of Penn National

Level three of Five in the Marquee Rewards Program of Penn National

Marquee Rewards

A brief word about Hollywood Bangor’s rewards club.  Penn National has bought some Las Vegas properties recently like M Resort & the famous Tropicana to go along with its country-wide portfolio of casinos & racinos.  Included in that portfolio is Plainridge Park in Massachusetts which uses the same Marquee rewards.  Points can be used at all Marquee Rewards properties, making a visit to Bangor, ME. more profitable.

Walking the Red Carpet to the Hollywood Casino

TRIP REPORT – Gambling

This isn’t a 24/7 facility.  The property is open daily 8am – 3am.   It houses over 900 Vegas-style slots in 30,000 square feet of gaming space.  Slots include many old & new favorites, but many times only one or two of them.  Denominations include penny slots up to $10 in the High Limit area (which is larger than Oxford.) Hollywood includes a broad variation of slots catering to reel & video slots players.

Video Poker seems to be it’s low point. Mostly single line VP with terrible pay tables such as 7/5 JOB, 7/5 DDB. and 6/5  Bonus.  There are only two multi line games that I could find – a”Super Times Pay Spin Poker” and one “Ultimate X.”  Both have different denominations available starting at nickels.

16 gaming tables round out the casino’s main floor.  Hollywood Casino currently offers Craps, Blackjack, Spanish 21, Roulette, High Card Flush, Three Card Poker and Texas Hold’em Bonus®.  Most low limits start at $5.

I played craps at the only craps table early one morning for 15 minutes.  The dealers were helpful and friendly, and I had the table to myself. But “3-point Molly” was not friendly. The same pattern happened five times in a row to my defeat.  Point, Point, point, 7-out (appropriate odds were also added.)  Off to slots I went.  I ended on the “ultimate X” video poker machine, since VP is my best game, and played on $50 for almost an hour.  I guess I should have started there!

There is a poker room with 4 poker tables with live action Texas Hold ‘Em games, 7-stud, and Omaha.  The same room has a small race book. Bangor Raceway is adjacent to the property and features a 1/2 mile racetrack and grandstand seating for up to 3,500. We didn’t have time to visit the harness racing track – maybe next time.

TRIP REPORT – Dining

Our first dining experience was next to the property and suggested by some of the staff – Geaghan Brothers Brewing Company.  Bangor has some great brew-houses, such as this and Sea Dog Brewing in walking distances.

Geaghan’s was a real treat.  I would go back in a heart-beat.  Great original brews.  We tried a flight of four 5 oz beers for only $5.25, an outstanding price, especially for great beer.  We preferred their Raspberry Pale Ale, but all four were delicious.  Once again, we asked for changes to their menu to cater to our needs, and Bryan was terrific as our server getting it done.  Our burgers were lean, tasty and cooked to our liking.  But if you have limited time – just have a beer.

Hollywood Bangor is limited in dining options, much like Oxford.  The Epic Buffet is only open on the weekend.  Your choices are the Hops House 99 (which took the Celebrity Restaurant’s place) and Take 2 – more of an express dining experience.

Hops House 99 is another brewpub, only specializing in other breweries.  With a good array of Maine beers and others from around the world, it follows its name by offering 99 beers.  22 beers on rotating taps, and the rest in cans & bottles.  Because we had been freezing for two days in VERY cold casinos, we decided to go dark & malty.  We picked two outstanding beers – Rogue’s Mocha Porter & Horny Goat’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter (from Wisconsin).  Nothing like having dessert in a can!

Our meals were good.  Their menu has enough choice to make anyone happy.  I decided to try the Beer Can Roasted Chicken, as seen in the pic.  PBR was the beer used inside and it was moist. I highly recommend this dish.  Service was timely and friendly – a definite “re-visit.”

Take 2 Snack Bar offers up a variety of you classic favorites including wings, burgers, sandwiches, salads & fries. It is open for breakfast daily at 6am. with a complete breakfast menu.  We had breakfast, since it’s the only thing open on a Wednesday.  It was surprisingly expensive.  Noteworthy is the fact that they don’t accept casino dining credit, but will accept Marquee Rewards Points.  I would suggest you go out for breakfast somewhere outside the the property.

Hollywood Hotel Lobby, Bangor Maine

HOTEL – The Gem of the Property

The hotel has 152 rooms, including four suites, and with over 5,000 square feet of meeting and pre-function space.  But it’s hospitality that shines here.  A friendly greeting, ease with check-in and in our room withing ten minutes both times we stayed over is what you can expect. The rooms are nothing special, if you compare them to Las Vegas.  But they are very homey, very clean well-designed, comfortable and have great amenities. A comped room here is a “no-brainer.”  But pay to stay and you won’t be sorry.

Note – on some summer weekend night, the Darling Event Center has some of the best country performers.  On those nights, the casino & hotel can be, well let’s just say, a little more boisterous?

Great Trip, Enjoyable Casino

I like Hollywood Bangor.  In the early part of the week, as in Oxford, or even in CT’s mega resorts, it’s slow and quieter.  The staff all over the property are concerned that you have the best visit. We’ll be back – there’s something about visiting Maine in June & July that begins the summer right.

Binbin

 

 

Oxford Casino – Maine Trip Report

Which one of the statements below is false?

1)Maine’s blueberry crop is the largest in the nation.   2)Maine has a desert.    3)Maine has two casinos.

Most people I polled said #3.  In fact they are all true.  We are only interested in #3 today – Maine does have two casinos.

The staff at NETimeGambling.com decided to visit both Maine casinos this past week.  Today, part 1, our visit to the Oxford Casino, in central Maine.

We were greeted by a double rainbow. Looking out our Hampton Inn window across fron the Oxford Casino

OXFORD CASINO, Oxford Maine – Some Background

Oxford Casino, Maine

Oxford Casino, Maine

The Oxford Casino is operated by Churchill Downs Inc. and opened on June 5, 2012.  They are celebrating their 5th anniversary this year with the culmination of a 2-year, $25 million expansion project, which includes a hotel of more than 100 guest rooms, additional dining options, an expansion of the gaming floor and meeting and banquet space.

The new hotel will be connected to the casino.

Our first visit, in 2013, to the little casino in the woods included lots of back roads, in a small town where the casino was the largest employer – 400 jobs!  In fours years, the surroundings have changed.  Oxford town has grown, and even includes more restaurants. The roads have been updated at the same time the sewer system was put in, making the hotel possible.  For a look back four years ago, click on our 2013 trip report, Trip Report Part 2 – Oxford Casino, Oxford Maine

TRIP REPORT – Gambling

The little time we spent, (4 hours over two days) we noticed lots of people for a Sunday night, due to Car Giveaway that day. It was busy.

Inside Oxford Casino, Oxford Maine

The casino is divided into two rooms. The first where you enter has table games, slots, ands a small video poker bar. At first glimpse, the inside gambling area had been expanded.  In the table games area, there were two craps tables, one was packed and on a busy weekend was still offering $5 limit with 4/5/6 odds. Blackjack & Spanish 21 tables were mostly $10, with one BJ table at the $25.  All BJ was 3/2, soft 17, and included the +3 side bet, paying 9X your bet for certain combinations.  Carnival games such as 3-Card Poker & Ultimate Texas Hold’em started at the $5 limit.  A small High Limit Area has been added with a few slot machines and tables.

Slot machines seem abundant.  Over 800 of them.  If the game is older than 5 years old, you probably won’t find it here, unless it was still made. No Cleopatra, no Mr. Cashman (first edition), no Texas Tea.However, most slots available were made by IGT and Aristocrat, with many of the newest slots by those manufacturers available.  Plenty of Quick Hit variations. Oddly enough, I did not see the very popular large screen Buffalo games in ether room (Buffalo Gold, Buffalo Stampede…).

The video poker bar area at the Oxford Casino

 

Video Poker pay tables are not good.  7/5 JOB at least has a Royal Flush Progressive, but Bonus Poker is 6/5, DDB is 8/5, and Dueces Wild gives a high house edge as well at the $.25 level.

The hospitality and service by the staff was very good.  Their motto is “Wicked Good Fun!” and the staff was Wicked Friendly as well. We left a little up in our bankroll, which made us feel good.  Staff was very willing to stop and answer my questions. Now it’s was time to eat.

TRIP REPORT – Dining

There are only two dining areas at this time – The Oxford Grill and Bar & the Oxford Express. Since the Express offered mostly fast pub food (it does have a small breakfast menu) we decided to go upscale at the Grill & Bar.

It doesn’t sound upscale, but you can get anything from a great salad or poutine, to quesadillas, sandwiches and great fish, pasta and steak entrees.

This area of the Grill & Bar has changed. The booth seats have been taken out and replaced by buffet stations.

The Grill has changed in four years. It seemed smaller, with one wall added to make way for the Express Dining.  It is also where the Oxford Casino has its many interesting buffet specials.  For info on upcoming dining specials, click HERE.

We ordered the Blackened Chicken Salad and the Asian Chicken Salad.  Due to diet restrictions, we put our server Samantha through her paces – and she and the kitchen completed every challenge to changes in the meal.  The service wasn’t quick (for salads & small amount of patrons), but friendly and very attentive.  The blackened chicken was very hot, the way I like it, but could have been too much for others. The meal was extremely enjoyable from both sides of the table. We would eat there again and try some of their steak or fish options next.

CRAFT BEER – A full menu of great Maine craft beers is available for purchase.  Alagash, Shipyard, Sebago, and Sea Dog, to name a few, are offered.  Here is the CRAFT BEER MENU.

HOTEL – Staying Across the Street at The Hampton Inn

Since the Oxford Hotel won’t be completed by late summer, we stay at the Hampton Inn.  This was a great option.  Open only a year, this hotel from the Hilton chain was terrific.  we were greeted cheerfully by the staff upon check in. Our room was beautiful, with many modern additions, such as plenty of plugs close to the bed with USB ports for powering up devices.

Hampton Inn Hotel Room

The bed was turned facing the window instead of the usual sideways, which we thought was a nice change. The chaise lounger was comfy and included a little desk that could be used for putting devices right in front of you. The bathroom was larger than expected with a large shower and nice essentials.

The regular rooms seem to be handicap accessible, with wide doors, a spacial area and even draws that provide great accessibility

Clothing draws for easy accessibility.

Continental Breakfast is complimentary. There were many little areas to ear, including a long high top table to watch TV.  The waffle station was separate – a great change keeping it away from the rest of the fresh and tasty breakfast. The area was spotless.

Hampton Inn Comp Breakfast area

Other additions to the experience was a business area, and warm chocolate chip cookies served in the check-in area in the afternoon.  There is free coffee around the clock.  A shuttle is supplied from Oxford Casino for those not wishing to brave crossing the now busy road.

Great Trip, Enjoyable Casino

We will inspect Oxford Casino again when renovations are complete.  Until then, we suggest a trip to northern New England for a smaller, more personal casino adventure.  Tomorrow, we visit Hollywood Hotel & Casino in Bangor, Maine.

Binbin

 

 

Maine Opposition To Tribal Gaming is Prejudicial

While Connecticut waits for a legislative decision to possibly allow a commercial casino to accompany the tribal casino monopoly, Maine has just been dealt with the opposite proposal – a tribal casino to be allowed in a state of commercial gaming casinos.

According to Focusgn.com, Maine’s state legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee discussed the possibility of legalizing a bill that would allow tribes to offer casino gaming in the state. Rep. Benjamin Collings, D-Portland, said that the tribes should be able to create an economic system that would bring benefits to the tribes.

300px-Wohngebiet_MaliseetSeveral other casinos proposals have been made over the years by multiple Indian tribes, but with little success.  The Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians tried to bring a casino into Aroostook County four years ago. In 2003, efforts by the Passamaquoddy tribe and Penobscot Nation to build a casino in Sanford were rejected in a statewide vote while the Hollywood Casino was approved on the same ballot. A Passamaquoddy owned and operated casino and race track facility in Washington County was also voted down in 2007. Similar efforts for another tribal racino in Washington County were also thrown out when the Maine Racino Initiative was rejected in 2011.

passam_crest2

Passamaquaddy Crest

In 2013, the Penobscot Indian Nation has tried to pass a bill to enhance its existing gaming operation—a 30-year-old traditional bingo enterprise that uses a bingo caller and bingo cards. And it’s the fifth year in a row its efforts have been thwarted by the state.  But Maine officials claimed that the Nation’s proposed Class II bingo machines are really Class III slot machines—a claim that’s refuted by two of the most reputable companies in the country that manufacture, test and certify gaming machines.  Class III is a designation applied only to “tribal” casinos and are Vegas-style Slot Machines used on tribal casinos such as Mohegan Sun, & Foxwoods.  They are exactly the same, Class II are tribal casino machines that work as a bingo machine and may look like a slot machine, but doesn’t act like one in paying off the player.  Check out the following links for more info on Class II & Class III.

Legal Distinction Between Class II and III Gaming Causes Innovation, Anguish

Slot Machines, VLT’s What’s the Difference? – John Grochowski Explains

Indian-gaming-JCR.jpg

Chief Kirk Francis talks about why Penobscot Nation officials are upset by the state’s delay of license request that would allow the tribe to use Bingo machines. The state says they’re slot machines, the tribe says it’s part of Bingo operations.

So why is 2017 so different? Maine has, in the past been accused of pursuing policies that force the state’s recognized tribes into a cycle of dependence rather than fostering economic self-sufficiency. Maine currently has two commercial casinos, Oxford Casino and the Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway Bangor, while the Passamaquoddy tribe operates a high-stakes bingo parlor in Indian Township.

This bill would authorize the Department of Public Safety, Gambling Control Board to accept applications for casino licenses from the states four recognized tribes,which comprise five tribal communities: the Micmac, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot.

These licenses would permit the operation of table games and up to 1,500 slot machines at multiple facilities. It would also exempt the tribes from the state regulation that no casino may be built within 100 miles of an existing casino or slot machine facility. Twenty-five percent of net slot machine revenue and 16 percent of net table game revenue go the state general fund.

York County, Maine om the Mass & NH borders where the third Casino in Maine is proposed

York County, Maine, on the Mass & NH borders where the third Casino in Maine is proposed.

As one can imagine, Hollywood Bangor & Oxford Casino officials are not too happy.  It has another fight to the southwest of Maine – a proposed York County casino.  The Legislature is expected to put the casino question to voters in November because backers collected enough signatures to place it on the ballot. Lawmakers criticized an effort to bring a casino to York County saying the company behind the proposal has a questionable history and would be handed exclusive and lucrative rights to build the casino if voters approve.

Could Maine support all these possibilities?  Probably Not.  While it is the 39th largest state in the Union – larger than South Carolina  & W. Virginia,  and slightly smaller than Indiana – only 10 states have less residents, three of which are also in New England!  Tribals nations in the north do have the distance away from New England casinos and a close proximity to Canada.  But York County?  That’s another question that won’t be answered for a while – if it ever gets approved.

Binbin

Hollywood Hotel, Casino & Raceway, Bangor, Maine – News & Promotions

Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway, Bangor Maine

Hollywood Casino, Maine

Hollywood Hotel, Casino & Raceway – Bangor, ME

Hollywood Casino continues to fight Bangor property taxes

The Hollywood Casino has been fighting for some time against the state due to property taxes. The casino believes the city has overvalued their properties and leases by a large number, over $61 million in fact, which is over half the assessed value of the venue. To try and fight the property tax, the casino filed an appeal with the Maine Street Board of Property Tax Review, stating their argument.

Hollywood Casino Hotel in Bangor, Maine

Hollywood Casino Hotel in Bangor, Maine

According to Marie Kelly at World Casino News, “should the casino be able to win the case, the city would have to refund property taxes in the amount of $1.35 million, which is a portion of $2.14 million that were already paid by the Hollywood Casino for 2014. This would leave a big hole in the city budget.”

The Celebrity Bar & Grill has changed its menu.

Inside the Celebrity Bar  Grill, Bangor Maine

Inside the Celebrity Bar Grill, Bangor Maine

Their hours are Sunday thru Thursday from 11:30AM to 10:00PM.  Additions to the menu include appetizers such as QUÉBEC POUTINE … $ 7.99 crispy french fries topped with house-made duck gravy, cheese curds & herbs, CAROLINA POUTINE … $ 1O.99 crispy sweet potato fries, house-made duck gravy, cheese curds, house-smoked pulled pork, pico de gallo, house-made barbeque sauce & ranch dressing, and STEAKHOUSE POUTINE … $ 11.99 crispy steak fries, house-made duck gravy, cheese curds, chilies, roasted tomatoes, shaved steak & caramelized onions.

The Paul Bunyon Burger Challenge at Hollywood Bangor

The Paul Bunyon Burger Challenge at Hollywood Bangor

They also continue to offer the PAUL BUNYAN BURGER CHALLENGE … $ 32.99 Warning: This challenge is not for the weak. Step up to the plate and see if you’ve got what it takes. IT ALL STARTS WITH A 2 POUND FRESH ANGUS BEEF PATTY GRILLED TO YOUR LIKING THEN TOPPED WITH A POUND OF THICK CUT BACON, 4 SLICES OF CHEESE, A HEAD OF LETTUCE, 1 FRESH TOMATO, & ONION. Oh and let’s not FORGET TO MENTION THE 1 POUND OF FRENCH FRIES ON THE SIDE? Finish everything in 1 hour and your meal is FREE! We’ll also try and stuff you into a complimentary commemorative t-shirt. As reigning champion you will have their picture displayed until someone takes the crown.

However, this isn’t just casual dining.  Check out the LOBSTER FRA DIAVOLO or the SMOKED BABY BACK RIBS.

This was a nice addition to Hollywood’s already popular Epic Buffet.

Have you been to the Celebrity Bar & Grill lately?                                     Write a review – good or bad – and share it with NETimeGambling.com.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

Maine Says No to More Casinos

Timing is EverythingTiming is always such a tenuous line.  While NETG (NE Time Gambling) wanted to be “timely” on the approval news for Monday, it didn’t take long for the legislature in Maine to turn that possibility into ‘ain’t happenin’ here!

Maine State House, Augusta

Maine State House, Augusta

The Legislature’s appetite for an expansion of gambling in Maine revealed itself to be nonexistent Tuesday with the rejection of a second pro-casino bill in as many days. On Monday, the Senate put the billed approved by the house to sleep that would have allowed for a competitive bid process for a tribal-run casino in Aroostook County or Washington County.

image(11)

Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway, Bangor

At present, the state of Maine hosts two commercial casinos – Hollywood Casino Hotel and Raceway in the city of Bangor and Oxford Casino in the city of Oxford. (In addition, the state has one establishment of Native American type, which is owned and managed by the Penobscot Indian Nation). Opponents questioned the need for more gambling in a small state that already has two casinos. They also pointed to voters’ repeated rejection of more casinos.  Of course, among the concerns voiced by opponents of both bills was that either of them would erode business for Maine’s two existing casinos in Bangor and Oxford.

Oxford Casino, Maine

Oxford Casino, Oxford

The expansion of casinos has been under debate for years but consistently has been turned back by the Legislature, mostly because of arguments that Maine has no overall casino gaming policy that identifies what casinos should pay and where that revenue should go. Maine’s existing casinos were approved by referendum.

Since Wynn Everett seems unlikely to open before 2017, it seems Maine still needs to see what kind of influence Plainridge Park has on their existing casinos, and if gaming revenue from Oxford & Hollywood stabilizes – Hollywood has shown some weakness recently by Oxford’s competition and Oxford has seen a modest decline, although they continue to be a success in southern Maine.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

Maine Casino News 4/16/2015

While the casino industry is getting ready to duke it our in southern New England, there has been rumblings up north in Maine.  Here is a smattering of news from the Pine Tree State.

Planning continues for the 2015 season of Nova Star Cruises, which connect Maine with Nova Scotia.  “With upscale dining, a casino, full-service spa, duty-free shop and other amenities, sailing on Nova Star is a great experience, but this year it will be even better,” notes Mark Amundsen, President & CEO, Nova Star Cruises.

According to the Bangor Dailey News, a tribal representative for the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, Henry John Bear, is asking the Maine Legislature to back his proposed bill that could lead to a casino for his tribe in Aroostook County.  Under the measure, the proposed casino would be on tribal land in Houlton and would be limited to 350 slot machines.

Oxford Casino Logo & SayingOxford Hotel got closer to happening when the town of Oxford has approved a tax break for the developers of the $15.4 million Hampton Inn, which is being planned to be built across from the Oxford Casino.  The Sun Journal reported that the 15-year credit enhancement agreement will allow Quincy, Mass.-based GIRI Group LLC to be reimbursed for some of the taxes it pays on the property.  Under the deal, the town will take an annual 20% of the property’s increased taxes and put it into a special account for the developer. The total allocation will be $367,500.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

Has the Novelty of Casino Gambling Worn Off? – Maine News & Promotions

&First, the Bad News – According to Mainebiz, both casinos saw a drop in revenue in 2014.  According to Patrick Flemming, director of the state’s Gambling Control board hinted to the novelty of gaming up north leveling off.  Hollywood Casino in Bangor showed a $10 million decline, and Oxford Casino showed a $15 million decline in one year.  Certainly the terrible weather of this year, and possibly the opening of Massachusetts first casino in Plainville would continue the decline.  So much for talk about a third casino in Maine.

Now, the Good News – Promotions!

Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway, Bangor

Ladies Night Promo ImageWednesday Nights are “Ladies Nights”  – Wednesdays, from 6PM to 9PM, you could be a lucky winner of Free SlotPlay using your Marquee Rewards card. At 9PM there will be a bonus drawing for 10 winners of $100 Free SlotPlay! Stop by The Sound Stage Lounge between 6PM and 8:59PM to be entered. Plus, the first 100 Marquee Rewards members to present their cards at The Sound Stage Lounge will receive a FREE Gift – while supplies last or until 9PM

0414 50 Plus Rewards Promo Image50’s Plus Sundays are Back – Win a share of $7,000 Free SlotPlay! on Sunday, April 12 & 26 from 11AM to 2PM!

 

Oxford Casino, Oxford

15-115-0085 AprPromos-400x340-SpinSPIN-O-RAMA – Win up to $6,000 in cash! Every half hour, one lucky winner will be chosen to take a spin at winning UP TO $6,000 IN CASH! Visit a Promotional Kiosk beginning at 1:00PM to enter.

15-115-0070 MarPromos-400x340-LadiesNightLadies Night Returns – Thursday, April 23, 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Drawings for $250 CASH every 15 minutes, starting at 6:00pm. Grand Prize Drawing for a $2,000 Spa and Shopping Spree! Half Price Drinks (house wine, draft beer and well drinks) 5:30pm – 9:30pm!

The WJBQ-FM morning show crew will be on site 5:30pm – 9:00pm to accept donations for Cans for a Cure! Drop off your recyclable cans and bottles at the Porte-cochere of the casino. 100% of donations will be made to Maine Cancer Foundation and Cancer Community Center. GIVE $5, GET $5! 5:00AM TO 11:59PM  Donate $5 to Breast Cancer Awareness and receive $5 in Free Slot Play.

That’s all from up north.

Binbin

 

More Maine Gambling Expansion? Commissioned Study Hints It Would Work!

Home to Hollywood Hotel, Casino &;  Raceway
How Many Casinos Can Successfully Fit In Maine?

It’s so interesting to see the news out of New England concerning gambling expansion. At the same time, all of the following is happening:

  • Massachusetts is dealing with Wynn vs MoSun, and casinos or no casinos.  The “spin” from both sides is out of control – full of half truths, and false accusations based on antiquated memories of an industry founded in the past.
  • In Rhode Island, the same battle continues to increase with the same negative campaigns by both sides concerning the renovation and expansion of the Newport Grand.
  • In Connecticut, the two mega-resorts continue to have declining slot revenue, and yet are seeking Mass casinos and continue to expand and diversify with additional retail, professional lacrosse, and other areas of interest to keep both afloat amidst the competition from New York, Mass & Rhode Island.
  • And New Hampshire – well, why waste time even considering what the Granite State is thinking.  They change their considerations and opinions as much as the weather changes in New England.

All this further tainted by the closing of 4 casinos in Atlantic City and editorials on gambling saturation in the northeast seen on the web and in newspapers on a daily basis.

Then this NEWS FLASH

A new study commissioned by the Maine Legislature suggests the state could sustain another casino or two depending on the size and location.

Continue reading