A recurring theme in my posts this past year has been the consistent pleading for Rhode Island to allow Twin River Casino to become a “Destination Resort” by building a hotel. My latest post pointing this out was on December 4th called “Hey, Rhode Island Casinos, This is Your Chance – Mass Continues to Spin it’s Wheels!” on Dec 4th, 2013 post. Yes, it was I who wrote “Hey Twin River, build that hotel on site before Massachusetts gets its act together.”
As we’ve seen, table games success has brought even more table games at Twin River Casino because of the unexpected higher revenue and the increase of CT patrons. But table games alone won’t draw the higher rollers that most casinos base their profit on if there isn’t a quality suite to stay in on the premises. “TR” won’t attract other patrons from east coast states, or even around the country without a beautiful hotel connected to the casino. It’s not just about the competition with New England Casinos – both existing and proposed, it’s about the big picture. Bring in those visitors from other states that wouldn’t ever visit Rhode Island.
State law explicitly prohibits the former greyhound track, which evolved into a slot parlor in the 1990s and became a full-fledged casino last year, from operating a hotel on its 190-acre property or “in close proximity” to the facility. Initially it was rumored to keep the Providence hotel market in tact without interference from other areas. Providence is only 15 minutes away – but to a gambler playing all day, that could be 15 hours. There’s nothing like crashing for the night, with a drink in hand, walking to your room for a good night’s sleep without stepping foot outside.
Rep. Robert Phillips, says he wants to strike that provision from law. Finally, someone with a little foresight and not shackled by the provincial attitude concerning a hotel rising from the woods of Lincoln. “We need to see about making Twin River a destination casino,” he said this week. “The last thing we want to be is reactive. We have to be proactive.”
Hallelujah! Proactive! That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout. He argued that enhancing the casino would bring in more visitors and tourists to northern Rhode Island in general, helping his district’s residents.
Now, this blogger would never jump to the conclusion someone was listening , or reading my posts…….but maybe, just maybe, I can take some momentary credit for being in-line with the same proposal!
And you know what’s crazy? I have the next step.
If this is passed, and a hotel is built by 2015 (before the Mass. expansion gets rolling), the next step accompanying this is the addition of online gaming. In case you haven’t been following, online gaming is now expanding state by state all around the country. Nevada and New Jersey already have theirs up and running. Connecticut’s casinos are now investing in expanding into online gaming and other states are toying with online gaming options, including California, Iowa, and Delaware.
Proactive – that’s the word. Online gambling is going to happen. Why not draw first blood in this next gaming battlefield of online gaming – and it is a battlefield in New England with six small states living together in one small area!
Go Rhody! What was a dismal look for Twin River and Newport Grand’s future at the hands of CT and MA, could now look promising with the dismissal of a limiting state law that is outdated and limits the Ocean State’s revenue. Go Rhody!
That’s all for now.