IGT and Twin River Worldwide Holdings have unveiled a new collaboration that proposes to work with Rhode Island policy makers on a number of key issues. These include maximizing economic development, keeping IGT’s 1,100 jobs and increasing investment in the state through new construction at Twin River Casino Hotel in Lincoln. 

The construction would ensure that the gaming floor and its slot machines continue to drive over $300m a year to the state, minimize the risk of systems and technology conversions and, overall, enhance Rhode Island’s gaming competitiveness with Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The net effect of these transactions would be the creation of a robust, three-way partnership among the state, IGT and Twin River, said a joint statement from Robert K Vincent, chairman of IGT Global Services and Marc Crisafulli, executive vice president of TRWH and president of the Rhode Island casinos. 

The new joint venture will be established, with effect from January 1, 2022. The companies will make various investments that will result in IGT having a controlling 60% stake, with Twin River owning the remaining 40%.

The new company will be a licensed VLT provider and supply the entirety of the gaming machines to the Rhode Island Lottery. IGT-manufactured machines and multiple other manufacturers will supply the floor. IGT’s initial 40% share will increase or decrease based on performance relative to its competitors.

Rhode Island Division of Lotteries will continue to maintain oversight and regulation of all gaming, and all aspects of the lottery and gaming programs will continue to be state-operated.

“This announcement signals the start of a strong three way partnership that includes not just the two companies, but the State of Rhode Island as well,” said Vincent. “Importantly, it will harness the strongest attributes of each company to better serve Rhode Island taxpayers, to preserve valuable jobs and to make meaningful infrastructure improvements at the gambling facilities.  

“We appreciate the active involvement of the Executive and Legislative branches of government for encouraging both organizations to work together in such a unique and highly effective manner.”

Subject to approval, Twin River will commence an 18-month renovation and expansion of its flagship property, Twin River Casino Hotel, to include a 40,000 square foot addition to the first floor gaming space. The combined improvement and expansion in Lincoln along with additional technology investments will exceed $100 million.

Crisafulli stated: “We all recognize the New England gaming landscape has changed significantly in just the last short five years, and our players have more choices. It is crucial that not only the gaming floor in Rhode Island be as vibrant and content-driven as our competitors, but that the wider range of amenities also meet our customer’s expectations.  

“Both the state and IGT indicated that substantial investment in the facility would be helpful, and we heard them loud and clear. We are excited to undertake renovations to the existing space in Lincoln such as clearer separation of our smoking and non-smoking areas, improved lighting, a greater assortment of restaurants and bars, a dedicated hotel entrance, and the addition of a 14,000 square foot spa off of the hotel.”

Jay Gendron, IGT’s COO, Lottery, who led negotiations for the deal, said: “It was very important to IGT that we have a comprehensive strategy to improve the competitiveness of the Rhode Island facilities, and the combination of our collective content strategy paired with the expansion plan by Twin River is a powerful way to respond to increasing regional competition.”