Deval Patrick Signs Twin Rivers’ Death Warrant
Today, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill into law that will allow for up to three casinos in the Bay State. One of which that is being discussed is a full-blown destination resort casino run by an Indian tribe. The leading candidate for this casino seems to be the Wampanoags in southeastern Mass. They’re looking for land in the Middleboro/Mashpee/Fall River area.
Other casinos, including one being slots-only, could go into a current horse-racing track, possibly even the Plainridge Racecourse in Plainville, not far from the Rhode Island border.
If people can just drive less than 30 minutes and get to a full-blown Vegas style casino, why wouldn’t they go there, to have the full array of gaming options, including table games, instead of only having the slots available at Twin River?
So how much could be lost by Rhode Island? According to the Providence Journal’s Randal Edgar, the state took in $270.4M last year. Rhode Island’s annual budget is about $7 billion, approximately half of which is federally funded. So if RI revenues are about $3.5 billion, what happens when you remove about $270 million from that number?
Now, RI wants to look into allowing the slots parlors to have table games? This seems like too little, too late. Mass beat us to the punch, and that’s where the money will go.