PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After Twin River acquired rival gambling venue Newport Grand last year, the plan was announced to move Newport Grand to Tiverton. The Rhode Island General Assembly has launched the first movements to let it officially happen under state law.
A House and a Senate bill have each been introduced to allow Twin River to transfer operations to the proposed Tiverton facility. The town of Tiverton, as well as voters statewide, will still have to approve the move.
“Ultimately the voters will make the final choice,” said one of the bill’s sponsors, Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin, in a news release Friday. “Allowing our gaming facilities to be competitive” — in the face of competition like Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, Mass. — “is key to protecting the state’s third-largest source of revenue.”
If voters in Tiverton and statewide give the move the okay, the proposed law would outline these conditions:
- The state will get 15.5 percent of table games and 61 percent of video lottery terminal (VLT) revenues at both the new Tiverton location and Twin River in Lincoln.
- Lincoln and Tiverton, the host communities, would keep 1 percent of table game revenue and 1.45 percent of VLT revenue, a minimum of $3 million every year for each town; shortfalls will come out of the state’s share.
The bills have gone to committee.
Twin River Tiverton, as the new facility has been referred to in talks thus far, would be built at William S. Canning Boulevard and Stafford Road, close to the Fall River, Mass. city line. A survey by Twin River in June 2015 showed 60 percent of polled Tiverton residents would support the casino coming to their town. Newport residents previously voted down expanding Newport Grand to add table games.Ted Nesi contributed reporting to this article.