Hollywood Slots earns $64M in May

Posted June 03, 2009, at 7:39 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — May was the most successful month at Bangor’s Hollywood Slots Hotel & Raceway since shortly after the facility moved to its permanent location last summer.

According to figures provided Wednesday to the state Gambling Control Board, more than $64 million in gross revenue was reported in May, accounting for $5.4 million in net revenue. Both totals were the third-highest monthly figures since the gaming facility opened in 2005.

“It was a pretty good month and Saturday [May 30] was a very good closing day,” Scott Woods, the state’s public safety auditor in charge of gambling, said at a meeting Wednesday.

May also represented the fifth consecutive month that revenues have increased at Hollywood Slots. When the facility moved to its permanent location last July and doubled the amount of slot machines from 500 to 1,000, Hollywood Slots reported $6.2 million in net revenue. That remains the highest monthly total on record.

Revenues declined steadily from July to December 2008 as the national economy worsened, but things have turned around so far in 2009.

Robert Welch, executive director of Maine’s Gambling Control Board, also told members on Wednesday that $100,000 of its budget for responsible gambling counseling services has been eliminated.

“We’ll continue to publicize the issue of problem gaming and we still have a responsibility to help when we can,” he said.

George Hale, chair of the Gambling Control Board, said he hears often about what can be done to protect against problem gambling.

“It’s hard for people in the Legislature to understand that we just haven’t had any clients,” he said. “All the agencies in the Bangor area are saying, ‘We’re just not seeing [problems].’”

The financial picture at Hollywood Slots comes on the heels of the Maine House of Representatives vote to effectively put off discussion of new gambling proposals until next year. The House voted 90-55 on Wednesday to not allow a resort casino in Oxford County at least until a clear gambling policy for the state is established.

Last fall, Maine voters rejected a citizen-initiated referendum proposal to allow an Oxford County casino. Hollywood Slots is still the only casino in Maine. The facility is owned by Penn National Gaming Inc. and is tied to the commercial harness race track in the city.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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