Twin River

RIPR file photo

Preliminary tallies show a “yes” vote statewide for a Tiverton casino, but the local vote remains close. In ballots cast Tuesday, 52 percent of local voters were for the casino, compared with 48 percent against.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Next week voters go to the polls to pick the next president of the United States. Rhode Island voters also vote on several statewide issues, including the proposal to build a casino in Tiverton.

As part of our Rhody Votes ’16 coverage Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender headed to Tiverton, where residents are seemed lukewarm about the casino.

A proposed Tiverton casino could generate more than $120 million in economic activity, according to an impact report commissioned by Twin River Management Group, the company asking voters to say ‘yes’ to the Tiverton casino.

The study was conducted by New Jersey-based Spectrum Gaming Group, a casino industry consulting and research company.

Though Twin River Management group ordered and paid for the study spokeswoman Patti Doyle said she believes the findings are reliable.

The end of the General Assembly session is coming into sight, summer beckons, and the politics beat remains frenetic. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Governor's office

Voters will decide the fate of Twin River's proposed Tiverton convenience casino, after Governor Gina Raimondo signed related legislation into law Friday afternoon.

Twin River unveiled the plan in April 2015, calling it Rhode Island's best hope for preserving the third-largest source of state revenue. The proposal consists of 32 table games and about 1,000 video lottery terminals.

RIPR

This post has been updated.

The full House of Representatives voted in favor of putting the Tiverton Casino proposal on the November ballot in Rhode Island.

The initiative was also approved in Senate committee Wednesday. That companion bill is expected to go before the full Senate Thursday.

The House Finance Committee takes up legislation to put a Tiverton Casino proposal on the November ballot. The owners of Twin River in Lincoln hope to build an 85,000 square foot casino, complete with slot machines and table games, like poker and blackjack.

RIPR FILE

The Tiverton Town Council is slated to hold a public hearing Monday on Twin River’s Tiverton casino proposal. 

Twin River wants to build a two-story, 85-thousand square foot casino in a remote part of Tiverton very close to the Massachusetts border. The council may vote to support the plan, or it could wait to vote on it at another time.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Plans by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to build a casino in Taunton, Massachusetts, will not affect Twin River's quest to create a so-called "convenience casino" in Tiverton, a Twin River spokeswoman said Monday,

"It has no bearing on our plans in Tiverton," spokesman Patti Doyle said.

The Mashpee Wampanoags are staging a noon Monday news conference at Taunton City Hall to discuss their plans.

RIPR File

Newport residents may soon say farewell casino gaming, and to the large red ‘SLOTS’ sign that hangs on the side of Newport Grand. Twin River has finalized the purchase of the Newport gaming facility.

A spokesperson for Twin River, Patti Doyle, says the casino plans to transfer Newport’s gaming license to Tiverton.

"We’re spending the summer into the early fall, holding small community neighborhood meetings so we can best understand what the neighbors and residents of Tiverton would like to see in a potential casino in their community," said Doyle.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The parent company of Twin River presented few details to the Tiverton town council regarding its plans to move Newport Grand’s gaming license to Tiverton.

“Tonight we’re here with a clean slate,” said John Taylor, chairman of the Twin River management group's board, said at a town council meeting last night. He brought a set of maps that showed the site the company secured in Tiverton, about 400 feet from the Massachusetts border.

RIPR FILE

Twin River’s leadership plans to hold an informational meeting in Tiverton Monday on its proposed casino. Twin River hopes to transfer the gambling license for Newport Grand to an undeveloped northern Tiverton site on the state line with Massachusetts.

Twin River officials are slated to offer an introductory presentation on their proposal during a 7 pm meeting at Tiverton Middle School. Tivertown Town Administrator Matthew Wojcik said his sense is that residents are looking for details on the envisioned casino.

RIPR FILE

So Twin River’s parent company wants to build a new casino in Tiverton.   The idea is likely to raise a few eyebrows, but RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it  has to be done.

There are many Rhode Islanders who don’t believe that state government should be in the business of promoting gambling. Those critics point out the lottery games and slot-machine emporiums that speckle New England like daffodils these days are little more than cheap taxes on the poor.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the Pawtucket Red Sox' request for $120 million in state lease payments over 30 years; Twin River's proposal to establish a casino in Tiverton; and some of the major changes he foresees for Governor Gina Raimondo's budget proposal.

You can hear more of our conversation with Speaker Mattiello on Bonus Q+A.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The parent company of Twin River proposed Tuesday, in essence, to relocate Newport Grand's video lottery terminals to a new location in Tiverton, close to the border with Fall River, Massachusetts, while adding 30 to 40 table games at the new site.

RIPR FILE

A slot parlor in Plainville Massachusetts is set to open on June 24th.  Ocean state gaming facilities have been bracing for the competition for years.

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