Casinos near bar harbor, me - tempting fortune

You might think of Maine as a state that grows big blueberries and huge who-me’s, but it also has eight full-service casinos, two racinos, and two social card rooms. Sadly for Bar Harbor visitors looking to spin some reels or punch a poker machine, none of those gaming facilities are within a two-hour drive of this beautiful coastal town.

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However, there are quality casinos in neighboring states—one of which, surprisingly, is just across the border in Canada.

Full-Service Casinos Near Bar Harbor

1. Hollywood Casino, Bangor (90 minutes)

Just 90 minutes west of Bar Harbor on I-95 is Hollywood Casino, one of Maine’s largest casinos. It offers over 450 slot machines from penny progressives to hot drops $100 or more every 15 minutes.

If you prefer table games, try your hand at blackjack, roulette, craps, or a dozen poker variations staffed by live dealers. Or, test your skills against human opponents in the ten-table poker room or the daily tournaments offered.

Of course, if you prefer to play against the computer, there are another 300+ multi-station electronic games machines available.

Hungry? Choose from three dining establishments, including the upscale Main Street Grill, open for dinner nightly.

Also onsite is the High Limit Lounge, an upscale bar serving cocktails, beer, and wine, along with small plates and appetizers. Finally, Tangle’s Sports Bar & Grill serves pub grub for lunch and dinner, with numerous flat-screen TVs tuned to all the major sports networks.

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2. Penobscot High Stakes Bingo, Bangor (90 minutes)

  • 600 electronic bingo machines
  • Diner

If you love bingo but prefer the one-armed bandit to the numbered ball, head for Penobscot High Stakes Bingo in nearby Bangor. Here, you’ll find 600 multiline video bingo machines that look and play like slot machines but use bingo cards and rules.

Each player gets a card with a specific pattern required to win—a straight line, column, or blackout (full card). As the game progresses, numbers are called, and players mark them off their cards just as they do in live bingo.

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And like real bingo, the more people playing and the closer you are to filling a card, the bigger the payouts—which can easily top six figures. Besides video bingo, this modest gaming establishment includes a diner serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days weekly.

3. Oxford Casino, Oxford (140 minutes)

  • 1,000 slots
  • 28 table games
  • No-limit poker room with nine tables
  • DraftKings Sports Book & Bar
  • Limestone Café & Lounge serving American fare

If you have more time or enjoy a scenic drive through western Maine, check out Oxford Casino, about 140 minutes from Bar Harbor. This full-service gaming resort boasts over 1,000 slot machines, including hot drops and wide-area progressives.

You’ll find all the usual suspects here: classic reel machines, multi-line video slots, and high-stakes denomenations. And don’t miss the high-roller area for penny slots with bets starting at $2.25 and jackpots ranging from $50 to $500.

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Oxford Casino also has 28 table games offering blackjack, Spanish 21, three-card poker, mini-bumper, and three kinds of roulette. If poker is your game, take a seat at one of nine tables and try to bluff, draw, or stud your way to fortune.

Need a break? Enjoy craft beers, wines, and casual fare at the DraftKings Sportsbook & Bar or sit-down meals at the Limestone Cafe & Lounge, open daily for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner.

4. Lucky Clincher Casino, Woodstock, NB (2 hours)

  • 300 slot machines
  • Restaurant

Just across the border in Canada is the charming village of Hartland and the gigantic covered bridge spanning the Connecticut River. A few miles farther north is Lucky Clincher Casino in the even smaller community of Woodstock.

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This full-service casino is owned by the Maliseet First Nation and named for the world-famous trotter sired by Nearctic and born at the tribe’s farm in 1977. Today, Lucky Clincher offers over 300 slot machines, including the latest video games and traditional mechanical machines.

When you get hungry, stop at the casino restaurant for reasonable priced breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

5. St. Croix Casino, Hogansburg, NY (160 minutes)

  • 1,000 slots
  • 30 table games
  • Poker room with eight tables
  • Three restaurants
  • Bowling center & arcade
  • Hotel with indoor pool & waterslide, fitness center, and more

For Bar Harbor visitors willing to make the two-hour trip, St. Croix Casino is a great destination for gamblers and their families.

This massive complex on the New York side of the Saint Lawrence River offers 1,000 slot machines, many with progressive and hot drop jackpots. There are also 30 table games dealing blackjack, craps, roulette, and poker.

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If you play cards, bring your best bluff for a seat in the eight-table poker room. Or, enter a tournament to test your stuff against visiting pros.

No gambler should play on an empty stomach, and St. Croix Casino has three choices for feeding the beast:

  • Sundance Grille serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets plus al la carte dining 24/7.
  • The Timbers Restaurant & Lounge offers wood-fired pizzas, burgers, salads, sandwiches, wraps, and more in a relaxed atmosphere.
  • For fast foods like tacos, nachos, chili dogs, and foot-long corn dogs, hit the Courtyard Deli.
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To keep the kids entertained while you pour your paycheck down one of St. Croix Casino’s money devils, send them to the Fun Center next door for bowling, laser tag, arcade games, and more. Overnight guests (18 or older) can stay at the stylish St. Croix Casino Hotel, featuring an indoor pool, waterslide, exercise room, business center, and lounge.

Smaller Casinos Close to Bar Harbor

1. Agriculture Hall Bingo, Ellsworth (75 minutes)

  • 200 electronic bingo machines
  • Concession stand

If you prefer bingo to slot machines, check the schedule at Agriculture Hall in Ellsworth, about 75 minutes from Bar Harbor. Here, local organizations host regular sessions for cash prizes on a variety of nights and times.

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While this isn’t a full-service casino, it does offer 200 multiline video bingo machines similar to those at Penobscot High Stakes Bingo in Bangor. Hungry? Fill up at the concession stand.

2. Hollywood Slots Race Track, Batavia, NY (170 minutes)

  • More than 500 historical slave machines
  • Simulcast racing from December through March
  • Onsite restaurant & snack bar

History buffs may object to my using the term full-service to describe any of these casinos since Hollywood Slots Race Track still bears the name of Hollywood Casino’s defunct parent company.

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More important, however, is what this facility does offer—historical slot machines modeled after classic fruit machines and other mechanical slots from the 1950s–70s. These are not video games but restored or recreated originals, many of which have been meticulously maintained or painstakingly reconstructed.

In addition to more than 500 historical slot machines, Hollywood Slots Race Track features simulcast horse racing from December through March. Of course, you can’t sustain gamblers on history alone, so track management provides made-to-order deli sandwiches, salads, wraps, soups, desserts, and beverages at the snack bar and hot food at the Winner’s Circle Restaurant.

Closest Casinos to Bar Harbor

The map below lists the distance & directions to the closest casinos to Bar Harbor.

Other Gambling Options Near Bar Harbor

Perhaps slots and table games aren’t your thing. Maybe you prefer the challenge of poker or the excitement of live races. If so, consider trying one of these non-casino gambling opportunities closer to Bar Harbor.

1. Bangor Raceway, Bangor (90 minutes)

  • Live harness racing June through September
  • Year-round simulcast racing
  • Ontrack kitchen & concession stand
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Just 90 minutes west of Bar Harbor on I-95 is Bangor Raceway, home of live harness racing during the summer months. Here, you can place a wager on your favorite pony and maybe cheer your steeds to victory.

Even better, this venerable track offers year-round simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing from tracks around North America. That means you can watch (and bet on) live action from Montreal to Miami and everywhere in between.

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Feeling peckish? Satisfy your hunger with fast-food fare from the ontrack kitchen or concession stand.

2. Hollywood Slots Race Track, Batavia, NY (170 minutes)

See above under Hollywood Slots Race Track.

3. Atlantic Oceanside Golf Club, Ellenborough, NB (150 minutes)

  • Golf casino-style slot machines
  • Dining room & lounge

Just across the border in Canada is Atlantic Oceanside Golf Club, where golfers can whack away at 18 holes and non-golfers can try their luck at five slot machines hidden away in the dining room. Register at the pro shop to play, and good luck!

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After your round, relax in the clubhouse dining room or lounge, enjoying fresh seafood, pub grub, and other dishes prepared with local ingredients.

4. Hollywood Casino at Charlestown Races, West Virginia (480 minutes)

  • More than 850 slot machines
  • 3 Restaurants
  • View of Charlestown Races track

Bar Harbor to Hollywood Casino at Charlestown Races, in West Virginia, is a lengthy four-state, 480-minute drive via I-95, I-295, MA-1A/US-1/US-6, US-1/ME-186, ME-1A, ME-9/US-1, ME-9N, US-201/NH-16, NH-202, NH-101, NH-101A, US-3, US-50W, and I-68. Is it worth it? Only you can say.

But if you decide to go, you’ll find more than 850 slot machines in this full-service casino. In season, you can also watch live thoroughbred racing from the comfort of the air-conditioned casino. When you get hungry or thirsty, choose from three dining options or the full-service bar.

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Perhaps by now, you’ve decided that driving two hours or more to reach a casino is hardly worth the gas money, hotel expense, and wear and tear on mind and body. Rest assured; you’re not alone.

Fortunately, technology allows Mainers to enjoy slots, video poker, table games, poker, and even live racing from the comfort of their living rooms, dens, man caves, she sheds, and motor homes. Best of all, you can , promotions, and game selections without fighting traffic or crowding into a slot machine.

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Of course, no casino is without risks, whether brick-and-mortar or online. Always gamble responsibly and within your means, and never spend more than you can afford to lose.

J.W. Paine is one of the most experienced writers at He's written for television and the printed media, and has original material included in several books in the Chicken Soup series.

Paine is a veteran of both the Israeli Army and the Canadian Armed Forces. He immigrated to Canada from Israel in 1963, and later became a naturalized U.S. citizen. At age 77, he's now back in Canada, which he claims makes him an expert on travel and betting on sports.