Hollywood Casino to experiment with 24/7 schedule

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BANGOR — Hollywood Casino won’t be closing its gaming floor between Dec. 26 and Jan. 3 as a trial run to determine whether a round-the-clock operation in Eastern Maine might be viable long-term, the casino announced Monday.

“Staying open 24 hours a day would give people more opportunities to play the games on our gaming floor, and it gives us a chance to test the feasibility of doing this in the future,” casino General Manager Jose Flores said in a Monday news release.

Normally, the casino, which has about 400 employees, closes daily at 3 a.m. and reopens at 8 a.m.

Hollywood Casino’s competitor 125 miles to the south, Oxford Casino, already is a 24-hour operation.

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State law places no restrictions on hours of operation for casinos or slot machine operations, provided security personnel are present at all times. The casino will be subject to state liquor laws, meaning alcohol won’t be served between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., except for New Year’s Day, when alcohol sales are allowed until 2 a.m.

Bangor’s casino, the first in Maine, will start its 10-day test run on Dec. 26, the day after Christmas. The casino will open at 8 a.m., and won’t close again until Sunday, Jan. 4, at 3 a.m.

That includes New Year’s Eve, which casino officials say is one of the busiest nights of the year. Flores said this year’s New Year celebration will feature performances by Motor Booty Affair throughout the night, as well as a countdown to midnight, celebrity impersonators and giveaways of more than $20,000 in cash and prizes.

“Being open 24 hours a day at that point will mean that people who want to stay up later, or people who have to work late that night will still have an opportunity to celebrate New Year in style,” Flores said.

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