The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused major problems in several sectors across the United States. For the city of Tiverton, they could face a large budget shortfall this fiscal year due to the closure of the Twin River Tiverton Casino Hotel due to the virus. Casinos across the US shutdown when the virus began spreading in the nation and have remained closed as states are currently experiencing stay at home orders.
The city expected to receive around $3.1 million from gaming this fiscal year. They added that amount to their operating budget. However, they have only received $1.2 million. Making up the rest is nearly impossible as the casino remains closed at this time and no signs of reopening are in sight.
A Town Council meeting last Monday night revealed the budget issues. Councilman John Edwards V stated that the casino must be operational for the town to receive any money. The Twin River Tiverton Casino Hotel has been closed for over a month due to the virus.
According to Newportri.com…
Tiverton was warned to not rely on the gaming revenue for its operations by Lincoln Town Administrator Joseph Almond. However, the town did decide to use gaming revenues as their source of income. All of the $3.1 million in expected revenues from gaming is in the operations budget.
According to Council President Patricia Hilton, the gaming revenue is short and the budget needs for the police and fire detail at the casino may be short as well, as much as $80,000. For now, an order has been issued where all discretionary spending is halted. Until the end of the year, all non-essential spending has also been stopped.
Some $500,000 in savings was found within the budget but it does not close the gap. Tiverton is considering their 2021 budget for the new fiscal year but it is proving difficult. The new fiscal year begins on July 1st and having a public hearing may be difficult due to the virus.