Northwoods Casino, a charitable gaming facility located at St. Kieran's Art Center, will hold its grand opening on Thursday with a ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by a Texas Hold 'Em tournament on Friday and two local live bands on Saturday. (Photo by Jody Houle) (click for larger version)
June 27, 2018BERLIN – Northwoods Casino will hold its ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening on Thursday, followed by a weekend of events including a "Business after Hours" tour, a Texas Hold 'Em tournament and live music from two local bands.
Although the new charitable gaming casino, located at St. Kieran's Community Community Center for the Arts on 155 Emery Street, has been open a couple of months now, the official grand opening will begin on Thursday with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce at 5:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend and can visit prior to the ceremony as the casino will be open at 4 p.m. Also, local business owners can get a tour from 5 until 7 p.m. for "Business after Hours."
On Friday, there will be limited seating for a Texas Hold 'Em tournament scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Interested parties are encouraged to call the owner Robin Lavertu at 723-9550 to reserve a seat. There will be a $100 buy in the first round that gives $2500 worth of chips. Three winners will be declared and 80 percent of the buy in will be divided among them.
On Saturday night, two new local rock bands, Mad Lucy and Take3 will perform from 9 p.m. until midnight. Both bands are up-and-coming rock bands from Berlin that play popular hits from the '60's, '70's, '80's and '90's. Mad Lucy play some more current stuff as well, and Take3 focuses on the classics. Both bands consist of seasoned musicians from Berlin and perform dance-able and memorable music. There will be a $10 cover charge at the door beginning at 8 p.m. and $10 worth of poker chips will be given with the fee.
The owners, Mr. Lavertu and his wife Monique, have a number of charities lined up. Currently, the charity is to benefit the Gorham Fourth of July Committee. Thirty-five percent of the gross from the business will go to charities and the state will get 10 percent. Charity groups interested can apply. Each charity group can only get 10 days per year from a charitable gaming facility.
Focused charity groups are local veterans groups, soup kitchens and animal rescue groups. Although it is not limited to those.
"We want to keep it as local as possible," said Mr. Lavertu.
Some of the proceeds also go to the St. Kieran's Art Center for needed repairs and upkeep.
The couple hopes to attract tourists and boost the economy. There are plans to expand in the future and possibly move to a more central location eventually.
The casino started off with $4 maximum bets but have now increased that number to $10.
"We still have the minimum betting for people who just want to have a little fun," he said.
Also, there is now a full bar with four kinds of beer, wine and assorted liquors.
Sandwiches from the Eastern Depot are also offered.
The Lavertus say business has been good.
"Every day, we see somebody new who say they will tell their friends," said Mr. Lavertu. "The more people who come, the more the charities will get. We are looking forward to better serving the community in the future."
Business hours are from Monday to Thursday 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Periodically, the casino is closed so the art center can hold its functions.