The IGT/Twin River legislation just signed by Governor McKee overpays these multi-national corporations by $800 Million.
First, the state is getting ripped off by only taking 12.7% of our table game revenue. If we were to match Massachusetts’ 25% take, that would put an additional $400 million in state coffers. Next, Rhode Island will pay IGT 2.5% of slot revenues for what our independent analyst described as an unnecessary computer system. Meanwhile, IGT only charges Kansas 1% of slot revenues its computer system. Matching Kansas would net approximately $156 million for the state. Last, the state will pay $221 million more to lease slot machines from IGT and Twin River than if we just purchased them - like the 90% of casino owners across the country that purchase their own slot machines.
Democrats trumpet this as a “jobs saving bill,” which is not entirely accurate. The new legislation amends the state’s relationship with IGT to now count all sorts of non-employee independent contractors and outsourced staff towards its 1100 jobs mandate -- such as its army of lobbyists. Worse, the penalty for IGT’s failure to meet the jobs mandate is merely $7,500 per job -- although IGT/Twin River claimed during hearings that each job would benefit the State to the tune of $23,750. Why would the state agree to a penalty that is less than the benefit of its bargain?
The 20-year tech-based deal epitomizes backroom dealing, corporate welfare, and crony capitalism. However, it only authorizes the Governor to bypass public bidding laws and enter into this 20-year insider deal. He is not required to accept the plan outlined in the legislation, nor should he. To protect taxpayers Governor McKee should do the responsible thing and negotiate a better deal.
We hope he takes this opportunity to build a lasting legacy -- unsaddled by his predecessor’s bad deal -- and fights to keep more of the profits from the People’s casinos to fund education, public safety, environmental protection, housing, transportation, infrastructure, and reduce our tax burden.
The Rhode Island House of Representatives Minority Office Membership (Republican) is comprised of the following representatives who were elected by constituents who live in districts throughout the Ocean State: Minority Leader, Blake Filippi, District 36 (Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly, New Shoreham); Minority Whip, Michael Chippendale, District 40 (Foster, Glocester, Coventry); Deputy Minority Leader George Nardone, District 28 (Coventry); Representative Brian Newberry, District 48 (North Smithfield, Burrillville); Deputy Minority Leader David Place, District 47 (Burrillville, Glocester); Representative Justin Price, District 39 (Exeter, Hopkinton, Richmond); Deputy Minority Whip Robert Quattrocchi, District 41 (Scituate, Cranston); Senior Deputy Leader Sherry Roberts, District 29 (Coventry, West Greenwich). For more information, please visit our website at www.rihousegop.org
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