Twin River, one of the most influential casino operators in Rhode Island, spent a huge amount of money trying to stop the IGT deal from materializing. The primary reason behind their protest is the desire to acquire better slot machines at its casinos located in Lincoln and Tiverton.
Twin River presented its argument in front of the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. It stated the reason why IGT should not be permitted to control 85% of the slot machines in Rhode Island, a price that the technology provider wants in return for maintaining a Providence office and 1,100 employees in the state for about two decades.
Twin River Rhode Island President Marc Crisafulli putting his point in front of the senators, said,
In the spring we went to the state and said IGT machines are significantly underperforming. We are not set up for Massachusetts competition. We need better machines…please take away machines from IGT and award them to better performing competitors. The lottery said no.
Only after we opposed this deal and after all this public process, at the end of August … did the lottery acknowledge that IGT’s machines were underperforming and took some away.
Crisafulli substantiated his argument with the statistics from last year, which showed that slots controlled by Scientific Games, a partner firm of Twin River, generated $52,000 in excess per machine as compared to IGT-controlled machines. He credited the gap in money generated partially on the fact that IGT rival Scientific Games changed their slot machines in Rhode Island 3.5 times more frequently than what IGT did.
Sen. Ryan Pearson, D-Lincoln, directed Crisafulli to present the lawmakers with a written proposal, wherein the views of the company regarding the management of slot-machine performance by the lottery are to be mentioned.
Pearson was not very keen about Twin River’s public-relations offensive against IGT and their idea that any proposal that has not been competitively bid is immoral. He also raised the topic that Twin River’s 15-year casino contract was not competitively bid, and therefore, the company has its monopoly.