BANGOR, Maine — The month of July has been good to Hollywood Slots Hotel & Raceway.
The state’s only gaming facility posted gross revenue of $70.5 million last month, the second-highest month since the racino opened in November 2005. The only other month that exceeded July 2009 was July 2008 — the first month at the permanent facility — when $75.4 million was spent.
On July 1, Hollywood Slots celebrated the one-year anniversary of its permanent facility on Main Street and spent much of the month promoting that birthday with giveaways and deals. The racino also recently launched an aggressive advertising campaign with an emphasis on southern Maine and New Hampshire.
So far this year, revenue has increased every month, except for a drop-off between May and June. However, revenue rebounded from June to July by more than $12 million, the largest one-month increase since the permanent location opened.
“We were very pleased with that revenue,” General Manager Jon Johnson said Friday. “I think we had some interesting and exciting promotions and certainly the rainy weather was on our side a little.”
Hollywood Slots, owned and operated by Penn National Gaming Inc., debuted in a temporary facility in November 2005 before moving into the permanent location in July 2008 about three years ahead of schedule. The temporary facility had 500 slot machines compared to 1,000 machines in the new location.
Opponents contend that recent numbers, while higher, do not represent a strong trend. Consider that in July 2006, gross revenue was $51.7 million, and in July 2007, gross revenue was $56.5 million. Those totals were among the best months of their respective years, but the numbers were spread among 500 machines. In the two Julys since the permanent facility opened, record revenue has been recorded, but it has not doubled with twice the number of slots.
Either way, a significant portion of net revenue from Hollywood Slots, about 50 percent, goes back to the state in some fashion. The city of Bangor has received more than $6 million to date to put toward a new auditorium and nearly $4 million has been put into college scholarship funds.