Hollywood Casino

Harness racing will soon return to Bangor's Hollywood Casino Raceway after a pandemic-related hiatus.

OXFORD, Maine - Maine's casinos are emerging from a COVID-19 closure. Bangor's Hollywood Casino opens at noon Friday, a day after the opening of the Oxford Casino.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

They’ve been closed for months because of the pandemic, but this week Maine’s two casinos will be allowed to reopen after state officials agreed to a pandemic safety plan that will limit capacity to 200 people.

BANGOR, Maine - A property tax dispute between the city of Bangor and the Hollywood Casino Hotel and Raceway has been settled, but the valuation of the properties in question is still significantly higher than what the casino had sought.

The casino had challenged a 2014 assessment by the city of Bangor that found its establishment and properties were worth an estimated $97.4 million.

The casino said the actual valuation should have been closer to $36 million.

AUGUSTA, Maine - As state lawmakers look to expand gaming in Maine, the city of Bangor will decide by Friday whether to lower the assessed property value of Hollywood Casino by nearly $37 million. Casino officials argue that the abatement request is warranted.

They cite a dip in Hollywood's business since 2012, a more competitive statewide market for gaming and an outside review that shows that the value of the properties have dropped.

PORTLAND, Maine - A new report funded by the American Gaming Association says Maine's two casinos have created nearly 1,500 jobs.

The report conducted by Oxford Economics suggests Maine's unemployment rate would rise from 5.8 percent to 6.4 percent without the casinos in Oxford and Bangor.

The figure of 1,500 jobs includes about 800 direct jobs, about 300 indirect jobs created by vendors and suppliers, and another 300 jobs created by the spending of casino employees. The study found that casinos paid nearly $83 million in state and federal taxes and fees.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine - Members of the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee meet next month to receive the results of a consultant’s study on the feasibility of locating one or more additional casinos in the state, as well as where they should be located. Lawmakers are optimistic about this study, unlike one last year that accomplished nothing.