Maine casino-goers might have hit the wall in 2014.

Early figures from the Maine Gambling Control Board released this week show slot machine revenue nearly flat last year at the state’s two casinos.

In Bangor, Hollywood Casino saw slot players gamble $459.6 million last year compared to $468.9 million in 2013, an almost 2 percent decline.

Exact year-end figures for Oxford Casino won’t be available for a few months but that casino has told the state that it will pocket $31.5 million after taxes, just $7,600 more than 2013 when players gambled $677 million there.

“It’s a fickle industry to predict,” Patrick Fleming, the control board’s executive director, said Tuesday.

After he noticed the one-month totals for December 2014 looking markedly better for both casinos than December 2013, he asked an auditor about the weather — it turned out December 2013 had three more snowstorms.

“Which could account for some of this change,” he said. 

Another factor for that one month: Hollywood Casino made the unusual move of staying open around the clock the week after Christmas. Oxford Casino has been open 24/7 since it opened in June 2012.

“When Oxford first opened up, there was a significant impact on Bangor, somewhere in the nature of 20 percent,” Fleming said. “We’ve been kind of waiting and tracking this to see if Bangor was going to level out. You figure the players in Maine have figured out where they’re going to go.”

Oxford, too, may have leveled off to a new normal after an initial honeymoon period. 

“We’re now getting to that point, ‘Is this going to be the benchmark for them?'” he asked.

Table game revenue was up year-over-year for both casinos, which may indicate a shift in the type of players coming through the door, Fleming said.

All that gambling resulted in more than $45 million in revenue-sharing through casino taxes.

The town of Oxford received more than $1.4 million, the city of Bangor $578,000, the Community College System $2.1 million and more than $8 million went to support or promote harness racing. 

Oxford Casino ended the year with 846 slot machines and 26 table games. Hollywood Casino had 900 slots and 16 table games.

This winter, the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee will once again consider if and where Maine should add more casinos. 

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