Twin River: 18% gaming share adds up for R.I.

'My concern is that no one is saying there's any constitutional issue.'

Do the numbers add up? Twin River says yes, after legislation introduced in the Statehouse last week outlined that Rhode Island would get 18 percent of the revenue table games there would generate if voters approve full-fledged gambling this November. More

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Twin River: 18% gaming share adds up for R.I.

'My concern is that no one is saying there's any constitutional issue.'

COURTESY TWIN RIVER
The new North Entrance of Twin River with an entertainment center, restaurants, slot machines, among other amenities.
Posted 6/4/12

Do the numbers add up?

Twin River says yes, after legislation introduced in the Statehouse last week outlined that Rhode Island would get 18 percent of the revenue table games there would generate if voters approve full-fledged gambling this November.

“We thought the voters should have full access to the facts [so] that we can delve deeper into the conversation,” Twin River spokesperson Patti Doyle said. “We see this proposal as a fair effort to reach a common ground.”

The 18 percent revenue share would be on top of the continued approximately 61 percent of slot-machine revenue the state receives from Twin River in Lincoln, according to Doyle.

Twin River says adding its desired 65 table games would bring in approximately $60 million. The state would get 18 percent, or $10.8 million annually. Factoring in a projected slot-machine revenue increase of $20 million, of which the state would see $12.3 million, allowing table games at Twin River, the company said, would give the state roughly $23.1 million annually.

Newport Grand Slots, which also stands to gain full-gaming rights pending the Nov. 6 ballot vote, also would give the state 18 percent of its table-gaming revenue.

The two facilities, which are promoting, along with supporters, the need to keep up in what they say is a two-state race in the gaming business, are hoping transparency will win them confidence during their campaign.

“That was always very important to us,” Doyle said. “We see this as a positive beginning in working toward an agreement with the state that is in the best interest of all parties involved.”

The legislation, sponsored by Finance Chairman Helio Melo, D-East Providence, in the House and Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin, D-Providence, in the Senate, comes just as nearby communities in Massachusetts have started making their feelings about casinos known at the polls.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick earlier this year enacted legislation that would allow for up to three casino facilities there.

Voters in Freetown last week overwhelmingly rejected, 954-308 with 22 percent of voters registered voters responding, a nonbinding referendum on the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Aquinnah’s proposed $167 million casino off Route 140.

Lakeville, Mass. voters were scheduled to have their say June 2.

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