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NEW: Twin River Secures Approval in Tiverton After Mail Ballot Count

Thursday, November 10, 2016

 

The fate of a new Twin River-owned casino in Tiverton was solidified on Thursday, as the Rhode Island Board of Elections finished its tallying of mail and absentee ballots.

After Election Day, the local vote to approve a casino was up 270 votes, but nearly 800 mail ballots were in play.

Following the mail and absentee ballot count, the local vote -- question 8 -- was 4,305 votes approving, to 3,939 voting no. 

Read About the Battle Over the Tiverton Casino BELOW

Following a count of all outstanding absentee ballots in the town of Tiverton by the Board of Elections, John E. Taylor, Jr., Chairman of Twin River Management Group, issued the following statement:

“Successful passage of Question 1 statewide and Question 8 locally allows us the opportunity to continue to build our relationship with the residents of Tiverton that we started some 18 months ago, and for that, I am truly grateful.

We came into Tiverton with an idea of how we might be more competitive in this region. With a parcel of land under our control, and not much more, I said at the time that our highest expectation was that we would be allowed to share that idea, collaborate on ways we might make it better, and have a respectful dialogue on its merits. We received that, and more. 

We will now begin the process of developing the Twin River-Tiverton Casino-Hotel.  We will do so understanding the town’s great sensitivity to the environment; the critical need for traffic improvements near the casino; and the importance of public safety. As important, residents of Tiverton and those statewide have spoken about what this project means for the local and statewide economy from both a revenue and jobs perspective. Mindful of those possibilities, we will move as expeditiously as possible ensuring to keep the commitments we have made to the town and the state.

We recognize that our vision for Twin River Tiverton isn’t shared by all. We still have some work to do with respect to earning the trust of those who preferred a different outcome, and to that end, I pledge that we will work very hard to earn that trust.  We take our role as a good corporate citizen quite seriously, and that just doesn’t stop with this successful outcome.  Nor does our conversation with the community of Tiverton.  We will continue to listen closely and work hard to be a good corporate neighbor in our new community.”

 

Related Slideshow: Pros and Cons for the Tiverton Casino - 2016

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Jobs

No Tiverton Casino Claims:

FEWER JOBS Most of the 600 “well-paying” jobs Twin River promises are low-paying, part-time or temporary. The average income touted is for certain positions only, with benefits and tips (not predictable) representing well over 30% of it. In addition, existing Newport Grand employees will move into those jobs, and Twin River is now off the hook for paying Sunday overtime, meaning even lower earnings.

Twin River's Response:

The average salary at Twin River is $56,000 inclusive of tips and benefits. We have learned that some of our colleagues prefer to work part time which is why we offer a mix of full and part time.
The decision not to offer time and half on Sundays was brought to us by the unions on behalf of their employees which we supported.

 

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Taxes

No Tiverton Casino Claims:

NO TAX RELIEF Despite promises, Lincoln has seen virtually no tax relief since it voted for a new Twin River facility in 2012. In fact, Lincoln’s $21.60 tax rate is 12.9% higher than Tiverton's $19.14, and Lincoln's commercial tax rate is a whopping 38% higher! Furthermore, Twin River’s revenue projections for Tiverton already fall short by $1 million. The State of Rhode Island pledges to cover the difference – with YOUR TAX DOLLARS! 

Twin River's Response:

Twin River pays for police and fire detail officers during all hours of operation to supplement security within the facility and respond to calls for service.  According to Joseph Almond, town administrator, the town of Lincoln has not had the need to hire any additional police officers or fire/medics in conjunction with the Twin River operation.  Further, the Administrator confirmed that there has been no corresponding impact on the crime rate or calls for service within the community. 
In 2015, Twin River paid to the town of Lincoln $3.8 million in property and other taxes and an additional $7.8 million from gaming revenues, making it the second largest taxpayer in Lincoln. Of Twin River's $11.6 million total contribution, $9 million supports the municipal and school department operating budgets.  This represents about 10 percent of the town's annual budget.
The Town's tax Assessment records support the finding that there has been no negative impact on residential property values in the vicinity of the twin River Casino.  Further, the town's remaining business community has shown no evidence of cannibalization of revenues and the town is experiencing an increasingly vibrant business climate.

 

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Crime

No Tiverton Casino Claims:

MORE CRIME Countless newspaper, television and government reports reveal excessive criminal activity directly related to casinos. Larceny, muggings, vandalism, petty theft, embezzlement, shootings, property crime and aggravated assaults are just a few of the highlights. Twin River’s recent crime spree has included most of these. Do you know what community crime does to your insurance rates? 

Twin River's Response:

Last year, there were 1,431 incident calls, not 1,431 emergency calls. If we break down the 4 calls on average per day, approximately 2.5 - 3 of them are general reporting or daily log-incalls that might include such activity as dress code violations, self-exclude violations, touching the chips on the table and/or a guest becoming a bit too boisterous.

Those calls - the vast majority - are handled by Twin River security personnel and the on - site Lincoln Police Department personnel which Twin River pays for.

The remaining on average 1 to 1.5 calls per day may produce an incident report and a request for off- site Lincoln Police to come to the property and those incidents might include a fender bender in the parking lot, petty theft and medical emergencies.

Since 2007, when Twin River underwent an extensive renovation and increased its footprint, not a single police officer has been added to the Lincoln Police Department.

It bears underscoring that Twin River is four times the size of the proposed Tiverton Casino.

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Town Resources

No Tiverton Casino Claims:

RESOURCE BURDENS In 2015 alone, Lincoln’s protection services departments received over 1600 calls directly related to incidents at Twin River -- 1,431 emergency police department calls and 222 emergency fire department calls. The Tiverton Police Department, with current staff, will be overburdened with even a small percentage of this activity. 

Twin River's Response:​

Since 2007, when Twin River underwent an extensive renovation and increased its footprint, not a single police officer has been added to the Lincoln Police Department.

It bears underscoring that Twin River is four times the size of the proposed Tiverton Casino.

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Traffic

No Tiverton Casino Claims:

HEAVY TRAFFIC The round-about will not mitigate traffic because it was designed over a decade ago for existing traffic. Twin River’s own 4,000-vehicles-per-day estimate was not considered, and the round-about does not address current congestion on the single-lane road approaching the Tiverton border from Route 24 and William S. Canning Boulevard. For years, the state and RIDOT were not particularly interested in addressing the situation; however, the Twin River proposal has suddenly moved them to fast-track construction. BAD FOR BUSINESS Casinos hurt local non-gaming businesses because casino visitors generally do not leave the premises. Casinos are actually designed to encourage such behavior, and they offer food, entertainment, shopping, etc. to keep patrons on the premises until they run out of money.

Twin River's Response:​​

Twin River has complete 90 percent of the design of the roundabout. It envisions entirely new traffic patterns as a result of casino operations. If the measure passes,then we have made considerable progress.  If it fails, the town of Tiverton will benefit from our engineering and design.  We have publicly stated that the casino will not open until and unless the roundabout is in place, in fact, it's included in the legislation, now law. 
 

 
 

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