Twin River vs. Encore… All Bets Off

Sad news out of Twin River, where the opening of the new Encore casino in Boston has driven down Twin River revenue. Even sadder news for the employees who were laid off because of loss revenue.

In just one week — Aug. 18 to 24 — Twin River  saw a 20.58% drop in video-slot revenue at the Casino. It dropped from $9,028,561 the same week a year ago, to $7,170,595 according to the Providence Journal.

The Encore casino in Boston has taken New England by storm. Not only is Rhode Island’s Twin River Casino feeling the sting, but reports are that other gaming venues are as well.  The one year old Tiverton Casino has reason to be concerned.  The Encore Casino is run by casino giant, Wynn Resorts, famous for running the Las Vegas Casino.

While Twin River is busy trying to get the gaming contract away from IGT gaming giant, they have the problem of minding their own store for loss revenue.  How can Twin River, which calls itself a casino, compete with the Encore in Boston? The Encore is a Las Vegas–type  casino with all the amenities. Twin River pales in comparison.  This proves the point that if you are going to have a gaming facility, build it right.  What started off as a small gaming facility in Lincoln has had multiple renovations but has not measured up to casinos such as Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, or Encore.

It may be the time to review this situation and make some clear decisions.  Either this state wants a first class casino that can compete with the others, or it does not.  We all know RI has gone around the bush when it comes to the casino industry.  Voters have repeatedly voted against a gaming casino here, which has made Twin River have to sneak in the door a little at a time.  But the revenue from Twin River is a major source for the state budget, one the state cannot afford to lose. 

This is a major problem for the state of RI in the next year, one that needs to be addressed by Twin River and the state government.  It may be time for Twin River to put all its resources into a better casino with more amenities. That would mean concentrating on the facility they do have instead of taking on another gaming contract. 

We await to see what actions Twin River will take.  They have already hired lobbyists, averaging from $3,000 to $5,000 a month, to lobby for the contract that IGT now has.  All this is costing thousands of dollars in an expensive lobbying effort stop IGT from getting the 20 year, no bid contract.  Meanwhile, revenue is down and workers are being laid off.  Is it time for Twin River to concentrate on taking care of what they have, instead of looking to add on more? Is it time for Twin River to step up and renovate its Casino to compete? The ball is in your court Twin River… don’t foul!

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