Oxford Casino on Route 26. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal 2019 photo

OXFORD — Oxford Casino Hotel announced Monday that it has suspended operations until further notice amid increasing cases of coronavirus spreading across Maine.

Its website states the closure will be for 14 days. However, reached by phone, Advertising/Public Relations Coordinator Jane Hoyt confirmed that it will likely stay closed for a longer period.

“Oxford Casino will continue normal payroll for team members (for at least) the next fourteen days,” Hoyt said.

Even before its decision to close, the casino had announced that it would waive all fees associated with the cancellation or rescheduling of hotel reservations for all stays through April 30.

Oxford Casino Hotel is owned by Churchill Downs Inc. of Lousiville, Kentucky. It owns owns 13 casinos and racetracks in 11 states, including the Churchill Downs, site of the famed Kentucky Derby; a variety of online wagering, video poker and off-track betting divisions, and supporting data and telecommunications companies.

In Bangor, Hollywood Casino shut its doors for two weeks as of 6 p.m. Monday. The company had no further comment, referring inquiries to a news release posted on its website at hollywoodcasinobangor.com. The release indicated that its 325 employees would continue to be paid during the two weeks it expects to be closed. All perishable food items are being donated to the Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine.

Gaming sites across the country have temporarily closed as the coronavirus spreads and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal and state agencies have recommended or instituted restrictions on large gatherings. The Illinois Gaming Board has gone as far as ordering all 10 of that state’s casinos to close.


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