The full house has approved a bill allowing Twin River Casino to build a hotel on its property. Twin River wants the hotel to compete with proposed casinos in Massachusetts.
The restriction that keeps Twin River from building a hotel was originally put in place to protect Providence area hotels from losing business. But now Massachusetts plans to open three casinos and a slot parlor, threatening Twin River’s revenue. Twin River officials have unveiled a proposal to build a four story hotel on their Lincoln property.
The House Finance Committee is slated to vote Tuesday on a bill that would clear the path for a hotel to be built at Twin River in Lincoln. The casino was banned from building a hotel as part of a law passed in 2005.
Twin River says a hotel will help it compete, as the casino faces growing competition from new gambling facilities in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Gambling is Rhode Island’s third-largest source of state revenue, and out of state casinos could cut the Ocean State’s annual revenue by up to $100 million.
The operator of Twin River is buying Newport Grand while vowing not to seek the addition of table games at Newport "without broad-based community support."
"For the time being, I think it's safe to say it's pretty much business as usual from a Newport Grand perspective, but with the added benefit of having Twin River as a sister property," John E. Taylor Jr., board chairman of Twin River Worldwide Holdings, the parent of Twin River and Twin River Management Group, said in a telephone interview.
Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.
This week, Dave and Mark talk with twin river worldwide holdings chairman John E. Taylor Jr. They discuss Twin River's proposal to build a four story hotel at its Lincoln, Rhode Island casino. They're taking the proposal to Lincoln residents and the local business community for feedback.
When to Listen: You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.
Developer, real estate owner and former mayor Joseph R. Paolino Jr. joins Political Roundtable to discuss his contingent agreement to buy Newport Grand; the pending exit of Education Commissioner Deborah Gist; and Governor Gina Raimondo's moves to remake the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission.
Developer Joe Paolino has made a deal to buy Newport Grand slot parlor. Paolino says there are still a few a details to be worked out.
Newport Grand produces far less revenue for the state than Twin River in Lincoln. Yet it remains part of Rhode Island’s third-largest revenue stream. Paolino said he thinks Newport Grand offers a great opportunity.
He would not say how much he's paying for the slot parlor, or whether he had partners in the venture. He says a confidentiality agreement limits him from saying more.
Some good news for Rhode Island’s state budget: income and sales tax receipts are up over last year’s totals.
That’s the report from the state Department of Revenue comparing state revenues through October with the same period last year. Income tax collections are 3 percent about last year and sales levies are up 4.3 percent, according to data released today.
On a more sober note, state gambling tax collections are down 1.3 percent from the same period last year.
Developer Joe Paolino says he’ll try again to bring table games to Newport. Voters approved turn the Newport Grand slot parlor into a casino, but Newporters voted it down.
Massachusetts voters gave gambling there a thumbs up. And that will hurt the slot parlor, said Paolino “You know right now I’m more concerned about the workers, because the workers are the ones that really put up this fight, they’re very concerned about their jobs.”
Proponents pushed the jobs angle; while opponents said a casino didn’t fit in Newport.