Rhode Island Prepares for Table Games

Twin River Operates Successful Soft Opening
Twin River stripped it’s reputation as “the Lincoln slots parlor” this week as it expanded into the realm of live Las Vegas-style games including blackjack, roulette and craps.

Friday’s soft opening was for invited guests only was a test run before the grand opening set for next Friday. According to Patti Doyle, a spokeswoman for Twin River it was a successful start. ‘‘We worked so long for this day so to have it arrive is really gratifying,’’ Doyle said.

Another soft opening is set for Monday, when members of the public will be allowed to participate. A formal ribbon-cutting is planned for Wednesday.  Low limits should still be expected.

Last Thursday, newly hired casino regulators toured the floor containing the 66 new table games. Twin River spent the winter and spring hiring hundreds of workers, renovating space for the new games.

“We are excited to open,” said Twin River Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Craig Sculos. “After six months of renovation and construction, we’re getting very close to showtime. Staff is in place, the facility is looking good. We’re ready to come out of the gate and open up the new era of Twin River.” Sculos added that “…the addition of table games and Twin River’s focus on customer service will help the casino differentiate itself from the existing Connecticut casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, and help get a leg up on the three casinos planned for and currently undergoing discussions in neighboring Massachusetts.”

Anti-Cheating Bill Passed
In reaction to the tables games opening at Twin River, the RI Senate unanimously approved an “anti-cheating” bill described by the Chafee administration as critical to the launch of live, state-operated casino gambling at the privately owned Twin River Casino.

Basically, the bill that Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin introduced for the Chafee administration defines a “casino crime” and the penalties for it. It also creates a gaming enforcement unit within the state police, and gives the unit the authority to enter and inspect the casino at any time, inspect its operations and records, eject anyone violating laws, and enforce the new laws relating to table games.

Any cheating by a patron — or employee — would be subject to a potential 10 years in jail and $100,000 fine. That could include everything from “intentionally taking advantage of a malfunctioning machine” or placing “plastic, tape, string or dental floss” inside a coin receptacle to “infiltrating a computer system.”

“The stiff penalties included in the bill will serve as a deterrent to criminal activity and protect the integrity of games at Twin River’s facility. Since the state will take 18 percent of revenue from those games, it has a significant interest in deterring cheating,” Goodwin said.

Let the games begin!  Before you go, know your “table manners” – check out my post on Table Game Etiquette before you go.

That’s all for now