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PROVIDENCE – In effort to stave off the effects of increased gambling in Massachusetts, the General Assembly last month approved several measures concerning Lincoln’s Twin River gaming facility in the final days of the 2014 legislative session.
The bills include one that will allow Twin River to issue lines of credits to its patrons. According to a news release, Twin River can now offer lines of up to $50,000 per patron. Casinos often issue lines of credit, referred to as “markers,” to patrons who don’t want to carry large amounts of cash or to those who have run out of cash while gambling.
The bills include a number of safeguards, including a provision requiring Twin River to check the creditworthiness of individuals applying for credit, and the ability of patrons to limit their credit line, voluntarily have it reduced or suspended, or put themselves on a “self-exclusion” list of people who do not want credit issued to themselves at all.
The legisluature also passed a measure to ban casinos from placing a lien on a Rhode Islander’s real estate as a means to collect a debt that is the result of a line of credit the casino extends to a gambler.
Although it will also apply to Twin River, the measure was introduced in response to Connecticut casinos putting liens on Rhode Islanders’ homes to collect markers, the news release said. While Mohegan Sun has used a real estate lien to collect a marker only once in Rhode Island, Foxwoods reportedly has done it 30 times, and more than half of those liens were for debts of $1,000 or less. •