Supporters of relocating Rhode Island’s Newport Grand casino to Tiverton held a kick off rally last week in Providence.
The rally was held by the Twin River Management Group to win public support for a ballot measure. It claims the casino would create 600 jobs. Attendees included some workers from the Twin River casino and supporters from Tiverton.
The new casino would have 1,000 slots, 32 gaming tables and a three-story hotel. It would be designed to compete with casinos in neighboring Massachusetts.
Twin River Chairman John Taylor told the crowd, “We are absolutely convinced that a convenience casino in Tiverton will be a tremendous success. We spent a lot of time talking to residents in town to find out what they might feel comfortable with and the proposal that we put together we think will succeed.” He said no significant opposition to the casino has arisen.
AFL-CIO president George Nee said that creating union jobs is one of the goals. “If this does not happen, I think those jobs are in jeopardy,” Nee said. “So from a labor perspective we have an opportunity we don’t usually have. We can use our voice at the ballot box to protect our members’ jobs and to expand our members’ jobs.”
Twin River has created “Citizens to Create Jobs and Protect Revenue, Inc.,” which has so far spent $237,347 on the campaign.
The Twin River and Newport Grand casinos are the state’s third largest source of revenue: currently $27 million. A study that Twin River commissioned projects that the Tiverton casino would pay the state about $50 million annually by 2020.