Rhode Island Casino Plans Near Approval
Twin River Management Group in Rhode Island is closer to being able to break ground on its $75 million casino in Tiverton at the northern edge of town. Last week the town’s planning board approved preliminary construction plans. A groundbreaking is expected later this month after final plans are approved.
The casino will be located on 45 acres near State Route 24 a short distance from the state line with Massachusetts, just across the line from Fall River.
Rhode Island and Tiverton voters approved of the casino in a referendum in November, although the local approval was by a very narrow margin. However, approvals by the city’s planning board and building permits were still required. Part of the board’s scrutiny was to determine if existing infrastructure could provide the power, water and sewer services to the facility.
According to Twin River Management Group Chairman John E. Taylor Jr. the casino will complete a traffic roundabout to handle traffic before it opens.
Some administrative approvals are needed at this point, but are not seen as standing in the way of the casino being built.
The casino will have 1,000 slot machines, 30 gaming tables, a restaurant, an entertainment venue, a parking garage and an 84-room hotel. Twin River plans to open it in about a year. It will use the license now used for operating the Newport Grand hotel, which will be closed.
When it opens, the Tiverton casino will be one of two in the state. The casinos collected about $600 million in 2016 and the state is expected to get up to $312 millions of that in taxes. Gaming is the third largest revenue source for state government.
The numbers the two casinos have been making have been in decline, which is one reason that Twin River wanted to relocate its new casino closer to the state line, where it expects to retain some of the market threatened by casinos that the Bay State is bringing on line.
Twin River has said it expects that relocating from Newport will increase its payments to the state to about $50 million, plus an additional $1 million from property, hotel and restaurant taxes.
Taylor told the planning board, “We are extremely grateful for the thorough and deliberate review process in which the Planning Board engaged. Like most of our interactions with Tiverton town government and its citizens, we were impressed by the collaborative nature of this process, which included hundreds of hours of document review, expert testimony and public input.”