BANGOR, Maine — One year ago this weekend, Hollywood Casino premiered its first crop of table games. That move helped the casino make 2012 its best year yet in spite of competition emerging in the southern part of the state, according to state records.
In the 12 months since table games were introduced at the casino, they have brought in nearly $7.6 million in revenue, according to Maine Gambling Control Board records. Slot machines generated $53.7 million in net revenue during the same time period.
General Manager John Osborne said the casino, with its 16 tables and 923 slot machines, had a “milestone year” in 2012, topping its previous revenue record of about $59.5 million in 2011 by more than $3 million.
The table games — including blackjack, roulette, Lucky Ladies and several poker variants — played a role in keeping people coming to the casino after Oxford Casino opened its doors 120 miles to the south, according to Osborne. Another table game, Mississippi Stud, is expected to arrive at the Bangor casino this summer.
Oxford Casino has been turning in consistent revenue numbers since it opened in June with 529 slot machines and a dozen table games. By October, it had expanded to hold 22 table games and 814 slots. In its first nine months, the facility has brought in more than $46.5 million.
Attempts to reach Oxford Casino General Manager Jack Sours on Friday were unsuccessful.
Osborne said the competition from Oxford has reduced the number of visitors to Hollywood Casino from southern parts of the state. To make up for that loss of patronage, the Bangor casino has spread its reach north and east, launching marketing campaigns in Canada.
Just three or four years ago, less than 5 percent of the casino’s patrons were Canadians.
“Now, they’re almost 10 percent of our business,” Osborne said.
Slot revenues from the first two months of 2013 are about $2.5 million less than 2012 levels, but the table games, which didn’t exist in early 2012, made up for more than $1 million of the decrease.
Osborne said early numbers for March look more on par with last year, but he expects a stronger rebound thanks to the continuing growth in the city of Bangor.
With the Cross Insurance Center poised to open across the street from the casino later in 2013, and another year of Waterfront Concerts about to begin, thousands of people will be near the casino for events during both warm and cold months.
Hollywood Casino is planning a dual St. Patrick’s Day and table games anniversary celebration for Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, the casino is holding a Carnival Cruise giveaway for its patrons, according to Osborne.
“Things are looking great, yet again, for 2013,” he said.