Rhode Island Casino and Card Room Gaming
VLTs have been operating in Twin River and Newport Grand since 1992. In 2012, Rhode Island voters approved state-wide referendums that would allow table games to operate in Twin River and Newport Grand. Adding table games to both properties was contingent on local referendums passing as well. Lincoln residents approved offering table games at Twin River. Newport residents rejected offering table games at Newport Grand in 2012 and again in 2014. As a result, Twin River is the only Rhode Island gaming facility to offer table games. It first started offering table games in June 2013.
Rhode Island voters rejected constitutional amendments to permit a commercial casino in Warwick in 2005 and 2006.
Months after a referendum to extend gaming hours was defeated in 2007, the legislature introduced measures that would allow for the 24-hour operation of VLTs. The governor vetoed the bill because residents of Newport and Lincoln rejected the measure and did not believe that expanded hours would produce the promised $15 million in revenue. The veto was overturned by both houses on 6 May 2008, and Newport Grand and Twin River extended their hours to 24 hours on weekends and holidays and until 3 a.m. on weekdays.
Starting in June 2008, at Twin River's suggestion, the Lottery tested a promotional points program, which became month-to-month in September 2008. The program authorized Twin River to operate a promotional play program where patrons were rewarded with free VLT play up to an amount authorized by the Lottery. The Lottery then reimbursed Twin River the net terminal income share on the free play. The VLT incentive program's goal was to expand the state's promotion and marketing of VLT operations in order to increase VLT net revenues. The incentive program proved successful, and a similar program was implemented at Newport Grand in June 2009. In 2012, the Lottery entered into Master Video Lottery Contracts with both facilities, extending the VLT incentive program until 2015.
In an attempt to help stabilize Newport Grand as Twin River added table games and casino plans in Massachusetts progressed, Newport Grand was granted temporary tax relief in the 2014 budget. The state temporarily decreased the amount of Newport Grand VLT income payable to the state by 2.25%, from 30.05% to 27.8%, for two years. The decrease expires on 30 June 2015.
In November 2016, Rhode Island voters passed a measure that will allow a new casino to be built in Tiverton.
Although regulated by the Rhode Island Lottery, Casino City considers VLTs to be a casino and card room gaming activity.
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