International edition
August 03, 2021

IGT will keep its role as lottery technology provider and Bally's gets a share of the slot market

Rhode Island gambling deal with IGT and Bally's passed by legislature, heads to Gov.

Rhode Island gambling deal with IGT and Bally's passed by legislature, heads to Gov.
The Rhode Island Division of Lotteries will maintain oversight and regulation of all gaming. All aspects of the lottery and gaming programs will continue to be state-operated.
United States | 06/03/2021

The Senate gave final General Assembly approval on Tuesday. IGT and Bally's agreed to invest in a joint venture, which will be a licensed VLT provider and supply all gaming machines to the Lottery, with IGT having a 60% controlling stake and Twin River owning 40%. All aspects of the lottery and gaming programs will continue to be state-operated. The deal represents an investment of $250M+.

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he Rhode Island General Assembly has approved a new 20-year extension of the lottery contract between the state and IGT and Bally's Corporation, the operators of the Twin River Casino in Lincoln and Tiverton Casino Hotel, reports Lincoln, RI Patch.

The legislation by House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi and Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio was approved by state Senate on Tuesday by a 28 to 7 vote and now heads to the desk of Gov. Dan McKee, who said he supports it.

Shekarchi and Ruggerio said in a news release that the agreement represents an investment of more than $250 million to preserve and enhance Rhode Island's third-largest source of revenue.

Shekarchi said: "The legislation increases revenue to our state and preserves critical jobs. Along with the Senate, we have taken several steps to enhance the legislation on behalf of the taxpayers."

Ruggerio commented: "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."

The two lawmakers promoted the amended version of the legislation, saying various benefits were secured:

  • The upfront payment to the state will increase from $25 million to $27 million.
  • Bally's will accelerate job creation at its corporate headquarters and will meet the 30 new jobs requirement as set forth in the legislation by Dec. 31, 2022.
  • Bally's will increase its commitment to the I-195 Commission for park renaming rights to $250,000 in the first year, $150,000 in the second year, and $100,000 thereafter, for a total increased commitment of $200,000.
  • The IGT financial commitment has increased from $150 million to $155 million.
  • The footprint for Bally's commercial space in Providence has increased from 12,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet.
  • Increased liquidated damages for any missed jobs count from $6,400 to $7,500 per job for both companies.
  • The commitment to problem gambling was increased from a minimum of $125,000 to a minimum of $200,000.

The bill includes the following components:

  • IGT will add 100 new jobs, increasing the minimum number of jobs from 1,000 to 1,100.
  • The aggregate payroll must now equate to 250% of minimum wage. At a $15 minimum wage, the total guaranteed payroll would be $85 million per year.
  • It provides a penalty against IGT for failure to meet employment levels.
  • Bally's will add 30 new jobs, with the same requirements and penalties as IGT.
  • Bally's will invest $100 million, including a 50,000 square foot expansion to its facility in Lincoln.
  • IGT and Bally's must maintain headquarters in Providence through 2043.

The two companies agreed to invest in a joint venture, with IGT having a 60% controlling stake and Twin River owning 40%. The joint venture will be a licensed VLT provider and supply all gaming machines to the Lottery. IGT manufactured machines and other manufacturers will supply the floor that will continue to be managed by an efficiency rating system. A minimum annual replacement cycle will be set at 6% with the flexibility to replace up to 8% in any year. At least 5% of the VLTs will be premium machines to keep the gaming offering on par with regional competitors.

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

Although it's not in the legislation, Bally's and IGT have agreed to raise the minimum wage for its Rhode Island employees to $13 per hour by Jan. 1, 2022; $14 per hour by Jan. 1, 2023; and $15 per hour by Jan. 1, 2024. The changes occur a year ahead of statewide minimum wage increases enacted by the General Assembly last month.

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