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NEW: State Representative Says Twin River Must Pay More

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Perhaps in response to a report that increased competition from Massachusetts will result in Rhode Island losing an estimated $307.6 million in lottery revenue over the next four fiscal years, House Minority Leader Brian C. Newberry is calling for Twin River to increase the amount of revenue its gives the state.

Newberry’s bill would raise the percentage Rhode Island gets from soon-to-be installed table games at the facility from 18 to 20 percent and the Republican Representative from North Smithfield/Burrillville says the action is necessary after a failed attempt by lawmakers last year to get a better explanation of where the originally agreed-upon percentage came from.

“According to data, Twin River itself can afford to pay more than they are,” Newberry said. “So why aren’t they?”

Newberry had attempted to raise the figure to 20 percent last year but was not successful before the initial bill was passed.

“While it is unfortunate that Twin River is a de facto, if not legal, arm of the state, the fact remains that it is a primary source of state revenue,” he said. “Given this situation, and given the already existing high tax rates and chronic deficit problems, the General Assembly has an obligation to our constituents to maximize the revenue from this source rather than allow it to flow to out-of-state- owners. Why we are not is a mystery.”

The legislation is co-sponsored Rep. John G. Edwards (D-District 70, Portsmouth, Tiverton), Rep. K. Joseph Shekarcki (D-District 23, Warwick), Rep. Frank G. Ferri (D-District 22, Warwick), and Rep. Michael W. Chippendale (R-District 40, Foster, Glocester, Coventry).


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