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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Bangor and Hollywood Casino reach deal on tax dispute

Bangor and Hollywood Casino reach deal on tax dispute

Chris Facchini , WCSH 6:58 PM. EST May 12, 2016

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The City of Bangor and Hollywood Casino have settled their year-and-a-half long tax dispute over the value of the Casino Property.  Both sides have agreed that the Casino is worth less  due in part to increased competition from the Oxford Casino.
The slot machines Hollywood Casino are  bringing in about 15 percent less cash since Oxford Casino opened, according to revenue figures posted on the Maine Gambling Control Board website.
City Tax Assessor Phil Drew issued a press release stating that both sides agreed that the value should be dropped from $97.5 million dollars to $82.5 for the April 1, 2015 assessment and $80 million for the April 1, 2016 and 2017 assessment.
That is an amount that is far less than what Hollywood Casino had asked for in an appeal it filed with state which argued the casino, hotel, and harness racing track were over-valued by more than $60 million dollars.
"I think hollywood casino thinks its very fair and they are very happy with how its played out,"  said Dan Cashman, a spokesman for Hollywood Casino.
Cashman says both sides worked out their differences and are prepared to move forward under the new normal with expanded gambling in Maine.  
in 2015 Hollywood Casino reported netting about $53 million in slot machines and table games revenue , which is down from a high of about $62.6 million in 2012.
Both sided acknowledge increased gaming revenue has had an impact and there have been recent attempts to bring another casino to southern Maine.   
"I think there is pretty hard proof that there is an impact and you also have to look at not just in Maine but the borders outside of Maine.  There's new  casinos in Massachusetts, there's a possibility of casinos in New Hampshire and Canada," said Cashman
Cashman did add that Hollywood Casino feels it will continue to be successful because of its strong relationship with the city, and Bangor's increased popularity as a destination for tourists due to events like the Waterfront Concert Series and the Queen City's many festivals.

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