OXFORD — Over the last three years Oxford Casino Hotel has weathered the same public health crisis as its host community and partners, coming out on the other side stronger than ever.

The casino was ordered to close in March of 2020, along with the rest of Maine, during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. It reopened four months later with extremely restrictive social distancing measures in place. The doors to its pub and dining facilities remained locked and hotel rooms vacant.

Emerging from a COVID-era slump, Oxford Casino Hotel produced a record-setting revenue mark in 2022. Ben McCanna/Press Herald

The number of people allowed in the building increased from 200 starting in July of 2020 to 1,400 the following March. By late spring the casino was able to welcome gaming and hotel guests back at full capacity.

But after 14 months of no or limited business, the casino, its employees, the many beneficiaries of its cascade revenue distribution and local community organizations felt the pain.

Remarkably, the casino roared back in 2021, pulling in revenues that year on par with 2019, the year that ended as COVID-19 started. And in 2023 it saw its best performance since its opening in 2012.

“Despite constant and unpredictable change during the pandemic, our Oxford team responded with flexibility and resilience,” said General Manager Matt Gallagher in a statement to the Advertiser Democrat. “We are proud that this team weathered all the challenges and continues to set and meet high expectations for our property to deliver a safe, clean, compliant, and fun atmosphere.”


The financial support the town of Oxford, the county of Oxford and Maine Department of Education, along with others, received in 2020 was less than half than in 2019. Local organizations were mostly left out, although Gallagher said his team was able to devise an interim community support program

“During the COVID restrictions that largely prohibited promotions that might lead to a gathered crowd, we were not able to activate our most successful Give $5 Get $10 community support program for over a year,” he wrote. “In response, we developed our Give for Change initiative, which accounted for over $80,000 in donations to the community.”

When the Oxford Casino Hotel fully reopened in 2021, the Give $5 Get $10 promotion returned. Gallagher estimates that close to $1 million has been collected over time between both Give $5 Get $10 and Give for Change programs.

Some of the local non-profit groups benefiting in 2022 include Poland Community Food Bank, Alan Day Community Garden, Pink Feather Foundation, Community Concepts Diaper Drive, The Progress Center, Safe Voices, Responsible Pet Care, Oxford Historical Society, Poland Spring Preservation Society and Mission Working Dogs.

Currently Oxford Casino Hotel is updating in its gaming operations, a move that will reap more reward for statewide, county and local partners over the course of the year. Before June guests will be able to try out more than 60 new games being at the casino.

Gallagher credits the resilience of the casino’s 500 employees who made it through Maine’s economic shutdown and public health mandates, as well as the great recession, with its ability to bounce back.

“Many team members wear many hats to help during staffing shortfalls” over the past three years, Gallagher said. “Their can-do attitude is a direct reflection of the values of our community. The Oxford Casino team has pulled together like we have many times in the past to keep delivering exceptional service even during challenging times.”

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