Anybody keeping score will have noticed that all of the supposedly reckless assumptions that Budget #2 made about revenue from the Twin River casino under construction in Tiverton are looking more and more like accurate estimates.
- The week after Tiverton voters went to the polls for the financial town referendum (FTR), Twin River affirmed what we’d reported the week before: that, far from opening late or not at all, the casino is on track to open a month earlier than originally projected.
- The following week, the Town Council voted to allow the casino to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Now another chunk of cash looks likely. When we mentioned that a Supreme Court ruling had put sports gambling on the table for Twin River, supporters of Budget #1 took to social media to say it was misleading even to hint that the town might receive revenue from this new source. Well, with the introduction of the Rhode Island House’s version of the budget, Friday, a number has been put on that windfall:
The state shall pay the Town of Lincoln an annual flat fee of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) and the Town of Tiverton an annual flat fee of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) in compensation for serving as the host communities for sports wagering.
To be sure, that shouldn’t strike anybody as a generous offer, with the state estimating around $23 million for itself, but it’s still money that will be guaranteed that was not previously expected, even in Budget #2.