Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee has signed into law an extension to the current gambling deal with International Game Technology (IGT) and Bally’s Corporation that will see the two companies run Rhode Island’s gambling operations for the next 20 years.
The legislation, renamed the Marc A. Crisafulli Economic Development Act to honor the executive vice president of Bally’s who is battling cancer, secures 1,100 jobs in the local gambling industry.
Acts 2021-H 5223A and 2021-S 0040A were sponsored by House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio and will see the implementation of a $250M economic development plan that will protect the state’s third largest source of tax revenue. Part of that plan will see the renovation and expansion of the Twin River Casino Hotel in Lincoln including upgrades to the casino’s gambling technology.
Speaking of the new legislation, Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi said:
“This legislation increases revenue to our state and preserves critical jobs. I’m proud of the ways we were able to improve this legislation during the legislative process to make it more beneficial to the taxpayers of Rhode Island, and grateful to Senate President Ruggerio, who played a critical role in bringing the two companies together.”
Senate President Ruggerio added:
“The Senate Finance Committee undertook an exhaustive review of this proposal and developed legislation that protects more than 1,000 jobs, guarantees significant capital investment, and preserves the state’s third-largest revenue stream. I am grateful to Speaker Shekarchi for working to enhance the proposal to further benefit the state, and to IGT and Bally’s for their continued partnership and investment in our state.”
The deal also includes an agreement that the Rhode Island union workforce will be the main contractors for the 18-month $100M expansion of the Twin Rivers.
Other key highlights of the new legislation include an agreement by both providers to ensure that gaming floors and slots machines continue to drive more than $300M a year to the state alongside some key upgrades to existing technology. Bally’s has also agreed to locate its corporate headquarters in Providence creating 30 new jobs while IGT has agreed to remain headquartered in the city.
The initial licensing fee has increased from $25M to $27M while Bally’s commitment to lease commercial space in Providence has increased by 40% to 20,000 square feet.
After signing the new legislation into law, Governor McKee said:
“This agreement has been dramatically improved since first being introduced in 2019,” said Governor McKee. “This deal secures additional economic development benefits for Rhode Island, better wages for Rhode Island workers, and enhances our gaming competitiveness. We thank our local partners for coming together to finalize this agreement. This is not only an important source of revenue for our state but employs thousands of Rhode Islanders and provides a great reason to visit Rhode Island. I thank the Speaker and Senate President for their leadership in enhancing this proposal.”