The Twin River Management Group’s campaign effort to persuade voters in Rhode Island to approve the proposed $75 million Tiverton casino, which will be situated near the Massachusetts state border, has kicked off with costs nearing the $500,000 mark.
While the $462,230 cost of the campaign may stand out, the latest efforts to garner support for the casino, which promises to add millions of dollars in new revenue to the state’s coffers and create thousands of jobs, hasn’t cost the management group a dime. Labor leaders and other proponents are featured in a series of Twitter videos which address the many benefits they say the new 85,000-square-foot casino-hotel will provide the state as well as local communities.
The focus of Citizens to Create Jobs and Protect Revenue, Inc., the statewide campaign being funded by Twin River Management Group, is the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s $1 billion First Light Resort & Casino currently under construction some 20 miles from Providence, in Taunton. While the state’s fears over losing gambling revenue to Plainridge Park Casino have so far been unwarranted, its share of revenue from the Newport Grand slots parlor and the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, both operated by Twin River Management Group, have fallen to approximately $308.7 million from $325 million in 2015, in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016.
The sales pitch, “Approval of a casino in Tiverton will help offset state revenue lost to new and existing casinos in Massachusetts,” is part of the referendum campaign owners launched the same day as the Twitter videos were shot on June 21. Two of the more recognizable faces in the campaign are those of George Nee, the president of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, and Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council President, Michael Sabitoni. The former appears alongside the quote, “We are here to contemplate the potential to do so much more if given a better location with more gaming and entertainment options, a casino easier to get to and in close proximity to more customers…,” as reported by the Providence Journal.
In September, a full-scale advertising campaign will likely begin, and on November 8, the state’s voters will cast their ballots on the referendum to build a casino on 45 acres off Route 81.