Oxford Casino to complete expansion by the new year

OXFORD — An expansion at Oxford Casino that adds 58 slot machines and four table games, including two for high-stakes players, will be finished in time for New Year’s Eve celebrations, according to a casino spokesperson.

The $3.2 million expansion was announced in August, shortly after Kentucky-based Churchill Downs Inc. finalized its purchase of the Route 26 gambling business from a group of local owners.

casino_expansion_1During a tour of the 2,200-square-foot expansion Monday, spokesperson Jane Hoyt said the 58 slot machines will bring the total number to more than 800.

Two of the tables being added will be away from the central gaming pit and reserved for high-stakes games, Hoyt said. A second bar in the casino’s restaurant, Oxford Grill, was added earlier this year to compliment a 12-seat bar inlaid with gaming screens in the central room.

The casino is graduating new dealers from its dealer school later this week to help staff the new expansion and expects to begin other classes so it can “ramp up” for the busy summer, Hoyt said.

On Monday, a construction team installed ceiling tiles in the new section. Hoyt said the area is scheduled to open in time for what is expected to be a busy New Year’s Eve at gambling enterprise.

Hoyt said she was not authorized to speak about additional expansion plans for the casino but said the “sky was the limit” for the facility.

In July, Churchill Downs completed its acquisition of the casino in a deal reportedly worth $160 million.

The sale has apparently paid off for the company. According to the third quarter report released in October, the company’s net revenues from its gaming wing increased 61 percent, or $30.3 million, largely due to the addition of Oxford Casino and Riverwalk-Hotel in Vicksburg, Miss.

According to the report, Oxford’s revenues accounted for $17.7 million of the total increase.

As of November, the casino has generated almost $67.4 million in net revenues, according to figures from the Maine Gambling Control Board.