2019.07.15

Rhode Island IGT Slot Machines Deal invites the wrath of Twin River

the parent company of Rhode Island’s two Twin River labelled casinos in Tiverton and Lincoln, Twin River Worldwide Holdings has initiated an ad crusade against the deal between IGT, the gambling machine manufacturer and online casino software provider, and the state.

Local news print, The Sunday Journal in its edition of date, carries a full page ad with the sole intention of convincing the representatives of Rhode Island that the $1bn, no-bid, twenty year deal is not only bad for the gambling business, but for the state as well.

Gov. Gina Raimondo secured the deal late last month. It was declared on the second last day of the current year’s legislative session. Both, the Senate policy-makers as well as the House will have to approve the deal, which is likely to be voted this coming fall.

If the twenty-year deal is passed by the officials, IGT will preserve its absolute right to supply 85% of the gambling apparatus at Rhode Island’s Twin River Lincoln and Twin River Tiverton casinos and also operate conventional lottery games in the state.

IGT will need to hire 1,100 people from Rhode Island and pay $25m to the state during the existence of the deal. Additionally, the gambling giant will have to invest $150m towards the state during the course of the deal.  It will also have to provide free updates, improvise the slot machines and digital lottery schemes of the two casinos at Rhode Island.

It’s a terrifying ordeal for the state taxpayers

Last week, just before the launch of his company’s ad campaign, Marc Crisafulli, executive vice president of Twin River stated – “It is assumed taxpayers will be terrified with this deal and the state gambling revenue is at a potential $10m risk in absence of any competitiveness, bidding process and the hasty deal, which in reality makes no business sense at all.”

In the official’s own words, IGT finished last from all the three companies that supply gambling paraphernalia to the two casinos of Twin River in Rhode Island last year in the contest for gambling capital. As explained by Mr Crisafulli, IGT’s slots in Tiverton and Lincoln yielded $258 per day per machine according to an annual gambling profit of $94k. And the state pocketed $56k approximately.

Gambling equipment provided by Everi procured $303 per day on a single machine at an annual turnover of $110,000 per machine. The state retained $66k. An average of $401 per day per machine at an annual amount of $146,000, was provided by Scientific Games machines from the two Twin River casinos’ machines. An annual collection of $87,000 per machine went to the state coffers.

The ad of Twin River, condemning the deal goes-

“Rhode Island’s law on purchases cannot be bypassed by the Governor. It is impossible for her to enter into a no-bid deal sans a Senate and Rhode Island House vote. We are convinced this deal is unfavourable to the tax payers of Rhode Island. We will further explain our concerns to you in the following weeks and expound why the idea itself is bad.”

It was explained by Mr Crisafulli last week that the act of the Governor would further hurt the state’s gambling business prospects in the regional market, that has witnessed the launching of three casinos in Massachusetts and in all probability will see the inauguration of a third and fourth in Connecticut.

The 20 year IGT deal, according to the Twin River executive “does not only prevent us from competing, but is also an encumbrance that reduces our competitive zeal.”

In the year 2003, Rhode Island and IGT had initially inked a twenty year agreement, during the time the manufacturer of gambling machines functioned under the brand name of GTECH. GTECH agreed to pay Rhode Island $12.5 million, under the said deal and retain one thousand state employees, as well as pay for the upkeep of its centrally located Providence HQ at a whopping $65 million.