Maine has officially been served its first full-service casino licence after the state’s Gambling Control Board granted it to Bangor business Hollywood Slots yesterday.
As reported by Kennebec Journa, Hollywood Slots will now expand from a slots-only operation in the coming weeks – expected to open 16 March with the state’s first 14 casino table games. Six tables will host the ever-popular blackjack, four for Texas Hold ‘Em poker and one a piece for let-it-ride poker, three-card poker, craps and roulette.
However, with the granting of the licence, the Gambling Board issued a never-ending scroll’s worth of rules for the table games, such as surveillance, money handling and even the size of the dice – to ensure the ball remains in their court. Nevertheless, Maine Gambling Control Director, Patrick Fleming, said Hollywood’s slot machines and off-track betting facility will remain open for business in the meantime.
While most of Hollywood Slots’ revenue will still come from slot machines, the business’ general manager John Osborne has said its expansion of 14 table games will add 89 jobs paying $4 million in salaries and benefits,. For gamblers, it will finally mean no more having to leave the state to legally bet on cards or dice.
Although gambling proponents and players will be ecstatic about the awarded licence, there’s still plenty of opponents who maintain they will continue to try keep gambling out of the state. One opponent, Executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine, Carroll Conley, said: “We don’t think it makes sense economically, and we have great concerns about the social costs as well. We will continue to fight any expansion.”
Carroll should probably go hide in a cupboard before she combusts from anxiety as Hollywood Slots probably won’t be the only Maine casino for long. The Gambling Control Board is expected to vote in March or April on a license for Black Bear Development’s casino in Oxford, which will open in May if it gets the go ahead.