Twin River

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. news@ripr.org

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.

Wikimedia Commons

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.

In what would be a serious threat to Rhode Island’s state gambling revenue stream, Fall  River is eyeing yet another attempt to enter the casino market.

Mayor William Flanagan has scheduled an announcement for Tuesday on a deal for a $750 million casino in the seen-better-days onetime textile center in  southeastern Massachusetts that practically straddles the R.I. border, according to several Massachusetts media outlets, including WBUR.

Partnering with Fall River would be Foxwoods, the Connecticut-based tribal gambling empire.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has upheld a Superior Court finding that the Narragansett Indian tribe has standing to sue the state over the addition of table games at Twin River and Newport Grand. Yet it remains unclear if the tribe's suit will move forward.

Under state law, the Narragansett tribe gets about one fifth of one percent of all net revenue from video lottery terminals at Twin River in Lincoln. That’s up to a maximum of $10 million a year.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

State Police have made their first arrest at Twin River Casino connected to the Las-Vegas style table games that opened there last month.

46 year old Steven Sabitoni of Lincoln has been charged with larceny for stealing $250 worth of chips from a blackjack table.

Detectives verified the theft by viewing casino surveillance footage.

Twin River has permanently banned Sabitoni from the casino premises.

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

More bad news for Rhode Island gambling venues: Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun casino has announced a major retail expansion at its flagship property in Uncasville, Conn. The new retail destination will have 200,000 square feet of entertainment, shopping and dining. The new facility will be located next to the Winter Garage. Construction is slated to begin later and the space is scheduled to open in early 2015.

Table Games Open at Twin River Casino

Jun 20, 2013

Wednesday was a pivotal day in the history of Twin River.  With the introduction of table games, the former dog racing park – turned – slots parlor is now the state’s first full fledged casino.

Wielding pruning shears, Governor Lincoln Chafee and other dignitaries cut a giant red ribbon, signaling the start of table games at Twin River.

Earlier, the Governor betrayed his bias for another type of gambling when he listed the games now available at Twin River.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Rhode Island expects to pocket six-and-a-half million dollars just from table games in the next fiscal year.

Fred Carstensen  is an economist at the University of Connecticut who has been studying casino gambling in that state. He said as casinos open in Massachusetts, Rhode Island should expect to get a smaller piece of the casino pie.

"It’s not a bottomless pit, you’re shifting money away from other activities and frankly it doesn’t really create value," said Cartensen.

John Bender / RIPR

Casino gambling just like in Las Vegas is scheduled to begin Wednesday at Twin River in Lincoln.

The one-time dog track has become the first venue ever in Rhode Island to offer table games thanks to voters, who approved the change to stave off competition from new casinos proposed for Massachusetts.

Gambling is a major part of the state budget, and to better understand how games like blackjack and roulette will affect the budget, Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison sat down with Paul Dion from the State Department of Revenue.

There’s an old chestnut in banking: If you owe the bank $10,000, the bank owns you. If you owe the bank $100 million, you own the bank.

That’s pretty much what has happened in Rhode Island state government’s quest to regulate the state-sponsored gambling emporiums at Newport Grand and at Twin River (aka Twin Rivahs in Vo Dilundese) in Lincoln.

If you know somebody in need of a job, you might want to steer them to Twin River.  The slot parlor is going to full casino gambling  this summer and Twin River spokeswoman Patti Doyle says they’re still looking to hire at least 300 workers, mostly dealers. She describes the qualities they’re looking for.

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