Twin River


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.


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.


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).


In what the Senate president called “an abundance of caution” the state senate voted again and approved a bill putting casino gambling in Newport on the November ballot.

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed says the governor’s legal counsel was worried that the part of the bill giving $1.5 million dollars to Newport would be considered an appropriation. And appropriation measures need a two-thirds majority, or 26 votes. It got only 24 votes in the final hours of the session.


Rhode Island’s gaming industry may get a major boost. Massachusetts residents will decide if they want to get rid of all casino gambling in the Commonwealth.  Massachusetts casinos would pose direct competition to the Ocean State’s gaming revenue.

Two casinos have already been approved in Massachusetts: a resort-style in Springfield and a slot parlor in Plainville. The slot parlor would be fewer than twenty miles from Rhode Island’s Twin River casino in Lincoln.  But the new ruling could allow Commonwealth voters to stop that project dead in its tracks.


A senate committee will look at legislation Wednesday creating a constitutional amendment centered on gambling in the Ocean State.

The bill would put a constitutional amendment before voters that states a casino or slot parlor cannot change locations without approval from voters in that city or town.

A development team is looking to buy Newport Grand, but promises that if casino games are allowed at the slot parlor that it will not change locations.

The Newport City council has approved a resolution that could put table games back on the ballot. The council will ask the General Assembly to put the question to Newport voters.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Dave and Mark talk with Twin River Chairman John Taylor. They discuss where Massachusetts is looking to put a slot parlor and casinos and what that means for Twin River’s bottom line.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, a Republican candidate for governor, joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss his plan for beating rival GOP candidate Ken Block; his opposition to Rhode Island's proposed pension settlement; the impact of Massachusetts gambling on Twin River; and Myrth York's endorsement for Gina Raimondo.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted Friday to green-light a slot parlor in nearby Plainville, Massachusetts -- a scenario that would threaten to siphon customers from Rhode Island's most lucrative gambling entity, the Twin River casino in Lincoln.

In an interview, John E. Taylor Jr., Twin River's chairman and CEO, says he expects the slot parlor would cut Twin River's $290 million in annual revenue for the state by about 10 percent.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Plans for a slot parlor in nearby Plainville, Massachusetts, have received their final approval.

On Friday, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted to green-light Penn National Gaming's plan for the Plainville slot parlor.

Plainville is just a little bit north of Attleboro, so a slot parlor there would compete for customers with Twin River in Lincoln. That’s a concern for Rhode Island, since gambling is the state’s third-largest source of revenue.

Don Boorman / RIPR

Every serious candidate says Rhode Island’s poor economy is the top issue in this year’s governors’ race. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time for Rhode Island to sort economic myth from reality.

Say hello to any of the five major candidates for governor and you’ll get a marathon run of rhetoric on the need to create jobs in our struggling state.  On the Republican side, Ken Block and Allan Fung have both talked about ushering in a better business climate, lowering taxes and looking for ways to save taxpayer money.

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Rhode Island’s gaming industry is keeping a sharp eye on what’s happening in Massachusetts as the state’s gambling commission works out where to license up to three resort-style casinos and a slot parlor.

Rhode Island pulls in enough money from Twin River and Newport Grand to make gaming the third largest source of revenue for the state. Casinos in Massachusetts threatens that revenue.

So how close is Massachusetts to having casino gambling? Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison spoke with The Boston Globe’s Mark Arsenault to find out.