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State sees big revenue increase at Maine casinos

Carter F. McCall | BDN
Carter F. McCall | BDN
Patrons play Texas hold 'em poker at the Hollywood Casino on Friday, March 15, 2013.
By Peter L. McGuire, The Forecaster

AUGUSTA, Maine — Tax revenue from the state’s two casinos is up significantly over last year, according to figures from the Maine Gambling Control Board.

According to the figures, in the current fiscal year, the state has taken in $35,407,412 in revenues from slot machines and table games from Oxford and Hollywood casinos, $10,400,315 more than at the same time last year.

Most of the increase can be attributed to the Oxford Casino. This is the first year the state has collected nearly full three quarters of revenue generated by the casino, which opened in June 2012.

From January to Aug. 31, the state has collected $1,427,476 in revenue from table games and $18,577,555 in slot machine revenue from Oxford Casino.

In comparison, the state collected $807,394 from table games and $14,594,985 from slot machines from the Hollywood Casino in Bangor during the same time.

Although an accurate comparison of Oxford Casino’s year-to-year revenue changes isn’t available, the Maine Gambling Control Board has monthly comparisons for 2012 and 2013 that indicate slight increases in the casino’s takings.

Gambling Control Board Executive Director Patrick Fleming explained that because the Oxford Casino opened in June, there are only two months that can be compared side-to-side.

“We’re finally able to look at it apples-to-apples,” Flemming said.

In July 2013, the Gambling Control Board received $2,918,800 in combined table game and slot machine revenue from Oxford Casino, a 35 percent increase over revenues in July 2012.

The state’s August 2013 combined revenues from Oxford Casino, $2,923,164, are almost 41 percent greater than the August revenues in 2012.

The Gambling Control Board collects 46 percent of net slot machine revenue and 16 percent of net table game revenue from the Oxford Casino.

The money is then apportioned to different entities, including the Maine Department of Education, Town of Oxford, Oxford County, the University of Maine scholarship fund, tribal government and the Maine Community College System.

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