New casino, table games (some poker) coming to Maine

January 25, 2012  

Maine is moving forward with plans to build a casino in Oxford. The casino will offer slot machines plus live table games (but no poker), roulette, blackjack and more. The state is in the licensing process and expects the facility, in the southwest part of the state, to open in June. The casino has yet to announce a formal name.

Further north, Hollywood slots will bring in live table games, and will change its name to Hollywood Casino Bangor. Owned by Penn National, which operates many casinos in other states, the Hollywood casino has 1,000-plus slots and is an off-track betting facility. The casino is across from Hollywood Raceway with a full schedule of harness racing from May through November. An onsite hotel provides deluxe accommodations for overnight stays.

At the Maine Gambling Control Board’s last meeting in December, members discussed various aspects of implementing table games.

“Basically, we’re adopting standard industry practices,” MGCB executive director Patrick Fleming said. “We’re modeling the rules mainly on those of Mississippi casinos. Everything should be familiar to experienced table-game players. We’ll be starting with low stakes at first.”

Fleming said table games most likely will be introduced in Hollywood Bangor in March.

The Oxford casino is expected to be open in June. Though the facility will be licensed for 1,500 slots, it will start with 500 machines and 12 table games.

The Oxford casino is locally owned. “The plan for Oxford is to build a destination four-season full-service resort,” Fleming said. “It’s located near the Bethel ski area and there’s plenty of outdoor recreation nearby.”

DEEPSTACKS AT NIAGARA FALLS: The DeepStacks Poker Tour launches its inaugural event on Feb. 15 at the Seneca Niagara Casino in upstate New York. DeepStacks has signed on several well-known pros, including Mike Matusow and Michael Mizrachi, who will play in a three-day event that starts Feb. 17 at noon and features a guaranteed $200K prize pool. The event will be televised and hosted by commentator Joe Stapleton alongside analyst and Team DeepStacks Pro Tristan “Cre8ive” Wade. For more information, visit deepstackspokertour.com.

NEW POKER PARTNERSHIP: It was standing room only on Jan. 2 when 178 players turned out to play in a special New Year’s charity event put on by Eastern Poker Tour and Helping Hands Poker at the Foxboro VFW. The organizations have joined forces and are co-hosting regular charity tournaments, primarily in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

“We’ll be hosting a $110 bounty tournament at the Foxboro VFW every Monday, and $90 tournament at the American Legion in Dedham every Wednesday,” EPT president Glenn McCrory said. “Plus special fundraising events that feature sit-n-go (tournaments), satellites and $1-$2 no-limit cash games besides the main tournament.”

Check out helpinghandspoker.com/events and easternpokertour.com for dates and locations.

— Kay Fitzpatrick is Ante Up’s Northeast Ambassador. She’s a freelance journalist who recently wrote a series of strategy blogs for Everest Poker and is an avid player at New England’s poker rooms. Email her at anteupkay@gmail.com.