Oxford Casino’s First Year

OXFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The Oxford Casino is celebrating its first year in business.

“It has been a blur, but it has been very gratifying,” stated Scott Smith, the casino’s public relations manager. “We are so appreciative and thankful for the number of guests that have come. It has been a complete validation of all the effort and hard work.”

Smith says the casino has already undergone an expansion adding to the 500 slot machines and 12 table games they had when they opened their doors.

“We now have 22 table games,” he said. “We recently added fortune pai gow (poker) and mini baccarat, so we have got a lot of excitement in there. We have craps tables, lots of blackjack and then approximately 800 slot machines.”

He says there is no timetable for when the casinowill build an on-site hotel, and says the larger resort casino vision remains.

Oxford Town Manager Michael Chammings says the casino has attracted a lot of other business interest and hopes there will be even more development once work begins on a major sewer project along Route 26, part of which will be funded by taxes paid by the casino.

Oxford Police Chief John Tibbetts says while there has been an increase in traffic in the community, there has been little increase in crime.

Chammings says there were 200 calls to public safety made from the casino in its first year. He says by comparison, the Walmart down the street had about 180.

“It has been very positive and there has been very little impact,” said Smith.

“The numbers are great. We are able to follow through on our tax distribution, nearing $24 million for last year, and the recipients of that,mostly education, has always been something that is really gratifying for all of us,” explained Smith.

The casino has attracted interest from larger gaming companies, and has entered into an agreement to sell the casino toChurchill Downs.

“We are very excited. Churchill Downs brings lots of resources and quality and potential,” said Smith.

The deal first must be approved by the state. If it is, Smith expects the sale to be finalized later this yea

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