If the Senate passes a bill today that the House overwhelmingly approved on Wednesday, voters in Tiverton and statewide will get a chance to approve or deny Twin River Management’s plan to move their Newport Grand casino license to Tiverton, on the state’s border with Massachusetts. A Senate committee voted yesterday 7-0 to move the bill forward.
Twin River had earlier sought to expand the 20 year old Newport Grand to include table games but met failure when they couldn’t get statewide and local voter approval as required by the state’s constitution, so they opted to pick up and move to a new location. The House voted 96-4 to approve the move.
Lawmakers have the bill on a fast track in hopes of beating two potential competitors nearby in Massachusetts to the punch. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is planning a multi-million dollar resort casino about 25 miles away in Taunton, MA. Mass Gaming & Entertainment will receive news by the end of the month on whether the state’s gaming commission plans to issue a license for their Brockton Fairgrounds casino proposal, about 40 miles away. Those projects could be delayed indefinitely in court battles. Plainridge Park Casino, Massachusetts’ first slots parlor, opened last year in Plainridge, about 45 miles away from Tiverton.
In addition to the Newport Grand, Twin River Management owns and operates Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, and the Arapahoe Park racetrack in Aurora, Colorado.