Tiverton Casino to Move Forward in Rhode Island

by Jim Hall

Despite a divided casino vote, the state of Rhode Island will see the Tiverton Casino created.

Whenever a casino is being constructed in a state in the US, there can be issues. Depending on where the casino is to be located, there can be issue from the neighborhood or community, Indian tribes already offering casino gaming, or other casino operators. In Rhode Island, a hot topic of debate is a casino that is to be created in Tiverton. There has been much contention on the subject and it seems that for now, the casino has won and work will begin.

Ballot Vote Proves Positive

Matthew WojcikTiverton is a town located in Rhode Island that will now be a new home to a casino gaming facility. On November 8th, residents in the area were able to vote on whether or not the Twin River Management Group should be allowed to move their license for the Newport Grand slots parlor to a venue in Tiverton. The vote proved positive as the majority chose YES on their ballot. The measure won statewide approval but passed by only 368 votes in the city of Tiverton. The town has only 16,000 residents so this was a very narrow margin.

Officials of Tiverton must now move forward to create a plan for the gaming venue without facing issues with those who were opposed to the plan. Matthew Wojcik is the Administrator for Tiverton who stated that the town is deeply divided on the subject and it makes everyone who is an appointed official in the town now having to travel the roadway with caution as they want to be sure to accommodate the views of everyone in the area.

What to Expect

Estimates for the casino in Tiverton show that the town could earn as much as $3 million each year based on proceeds provided by the gaming venue. The state has also promised to make up the difference if the gaming venue does not earn enough to meet this price point. The state will benefit because they will be earning much more from video gaming and table games than they did when the venue was located in Newport.

This week, the Tiverton Town Council will meet to talk about things involving the Tiverton casino. The facility will be created around 400 feet from Fall River which is a town located in Massachusetts. John Taylor, the Chairman of Twin River, has announced that he is ready to move quickly with his plan however, it is believed that scrutiny will take place from those who are skeptical. Members of the Council are skeptical of the plans for the gaming venue.

Former Connecticut Representative Bob Steele came to Tiverton before the vote took place to speak out against the casino in the town. He now has stated that he hopes the state will learn something from the experience in Connecticut. Steele stated that the fact that there is no evidence that a casino expansion in any way, on a longer-term basis, will help the local economy. On the way up, everyone cheers look at the money and then on the way down the economics will begin to fall apart. According to Steele, the process is a bad recipe for building an economy and society for a state.

It will be interesting to see by this upcoming meeting how the plans are received in regards to discussing the casino moving to Tiverton. Will there be contention or will everyone be on board and move forward with what will become a gambling destination in the small town? Only time will tell what will actually take place in Rhode Island.