PROVIDENCE, RI (AP) – Governor Daniel McKee on Friday signed a new 20-year non-tender contract with International Game Technology and Bally’s Corp. to manage Rhode Island’s gambling operations, the state’s third-largest revenue stream.
The deal increases incomes, maintains jobs in the state and will boost development, he said at an open-air signing ceremony.
“This legislation represents $ 250 million in economic development which includes the creation of 1,100 well-paying jobs right here in Rhode Island,” said the Democratic governor.
IGT will retain and develop its 1,100 employees in Rhode Island, and Bally’s – formerly Twin River Holdings – will expand the Twin River Casino in Lincoln.
Bally’s will pay the I-195 Commission for the park name change fee, and businesses are required to contribute at least $ 200,000 to problem gambling programs.
The companies have also agreed to raise workers’ wages, a spokesperson said.
Republican lawmakers have criticized the deal, saying it “embodies behind-the-scenes transactions, corporate welfare and crony capitalism.”
The legislation overpay IGT and Bally’s by $ 800 million, they said, adding that the state is being “ripped off” by accepting lower percentages of table game and slot machine revenue than other states.
“To protect taxpayers, Governor McKee should act responsibly and negotiate a better deal,” they said.
The state would not have been able to secure such a deal through a competitive bidding process, Democratic President Dominick Ruggerio said.
IGT and Bally’s had quarreled in the past, but in January 2020 they formed a partnership that they said would maintain the state’s gambling revenues, improve competitiveness with Massachusetts and Connecticut, and keep jobs in. the state.
“This is an economic development achievement that Rhode Island leaders should be proud of and should be able to say with confidence, ‘Yes, we did,'” said Jay Gendron, Lottery Manager for IGT.
The legislation is named after Bally’s, Rhode Island, cancer-fighting senior executive Marc Crisafulli.
“It gave me such a boost and gave me the positive energy I needed to face this,” he said.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.