Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has rubbished the claims by Twin River executives that they were threatened with regulatory purging if the casino gambling operator stood with a proposal against the 20-year lottery contract extension for International Game Technology.
Commenting on the allegations, Gov. Raimondo said that there is “no merit” in such claims.
Twin River CEO George Papinier had claimed that a “senior member of the administration” warned of “consequences” if his company fought the deal.
Twin River Rhode Island President Marc Crisafulli confirmed that it was he who had received the threat.
Joch Block a spokesperson for the Governor’s office said: “The administration’s staff has spoken numerous times with Mr. Crisafulli, and there is absolutely no merit to his assertion that a threat of retaliation was ever made.
The fact is that Twin River violated its regulatory agreement. Despite this, the administration has worked for months with Twin River to reach a fair settlement that protects taxpayers.”
Rhode Island’s Governor Gina Raimondo has been under a lot of flak for single-handedly extending the contract with IGT for another 20 years.
She had been vociferously criticized by lawmakers and also from industry stakeholders for granting a billion-dollar contract without going into any competitive bidding process.
Twin River Worldwide has opposed the IGT’s contract extension and tendered a proposal that says they would create 1,100 new jobs and have also given a $100 million guarantee. An investment of $75 million in development has also been promised.
Reportedly, both Twin River and IGT have paid lobbyists over half a million dollars – $512,500 to 24 different lobbyists to be precise.
According to John Marion, the executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, it could be the biggest lobbying campaign in the state in recent times.