Twin River

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

In the never ending casino legal joust between the state and the Narragansett Indian Tribe, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has dismissed a challenge to the constitutionality of the state Casino Act.

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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.

Former State Sen. Stephen Alves of West Warwick has been arrested for drunk driving after an accident on Route 146 In Lincoln. State Police say Alves struck a tractor-trailer truck near the Twin River casino exit.

Police say Alves drove his vehicle ``directly into the rear of the tractor trailer.’’ Alves, a former Senate Finance Committee chairman, is a Statehouse lobbyist.

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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.

File / RIPR

The rising number of casinos in New England that’s hurting the Foxwoods Resort Casino is both a threat to table games in Rhode Island and the reason to add more.

Analyst Clyde Barrow said the Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut has been losing millions of dollars since its peak in 2006. To blame: a slow economic recovery and a growing number of casinos in New England.

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It’s election year in Rhode Island. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the one issue that never goes away in our small state – casino gambling.

There’s an old gallows humor joke about banks and creditors. If you owe the bank $30,000, the bank owns you. If you owe the bank $300 million, you own the bank.

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Governor Lincoln Chafee signed several bills designed to attract more gamblers to Twin River Casino.  The Lincoln casino is one of two in Rhode Island, and the only one with table games.

Former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino has been a stalwart booster of Buddy Cianci’s redemption tour. But now that Cianci has filed for election for Providence mayor and Charles Mansolillo has been appointed Cianci’s campaign manager, Paolino is turning his political attention to Newport, where he is part of a group that wants to buy and improve the Newport Grand gambling emporium.

(Rhode Island being Rhode Island, Paolino and Mansolillo are well-acquainted; the two ran against each other for mayor in 1986 in a campaign won comfortably by Paolino).

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