BANGOR, Maine — After reorganizing as many staff members as possible, Hollywood Slots Hotel and Raceway was forced to lay off about 3 percent of its work force, or 12 employees, it announced this week.
Amy Kenney, director of marketing and public affairs for Maine’s only gaming facility, said the layoffs were as minimal as could be expected in such a difficult economy.
“We’re trying to stay positive and keep our morale up,” she said.
Penn National Gaming Inc., a Pennsylvania-based company that operates several gaming facilities throughout the country, owns Hollywood Slots. It is not clear whether any other facilities have laid off employees recently, but other New England casinos have been struggling. Mohegan Sun in Connecticut halted construction of a new hotel recently, and Foxwoods, also in Connecticut, laid off 700 people last month.
Also last month, Maine’s Gambling Control Board determined the economy has significantly affected gambling revenue in the state. Looking at the average amount of money being bet at each slot machine in Bangor shows the numbers have been cut almost in half from the first week of $3,500 per machine to about $1,800.
A state panel drafted a first estimate that concluded revenues from the racino will be down $3.6 million this year, and that revenues for the two-year budget cycle should be reduced by about $4.5 million a year. Those revenues were projected based on the amount of money bet at each machine.
Hollywood Slots employs about 350 people, more than 90 percent of whom are full-time employees, according to Kenney.