Rhode Island Has two casinos at this time, Twin River Casino in Lincoln and Newport Grand in Newport, RI.
It has always seemed that both Rhode Island casinos have flown under the radar in New England – TR without a hotel, and Newport with a seemingly death sentence in a year. To combat the competition from three sides in two states, Twin River Management group decided to improve it’s status in the region.
A BRIEF LOOK BACK
Lincoln Downs opened on July 7, 1947 – a dog racing track, accommodated 5,800 spectators in the grandstand, plus 2,000 more in the clubhouse and turf club. Off-track parimutuel betting was approved, only to be diminished by the opening of Foxwoods in CT, 1992. From that point, this property has fought for relevancy. In 2007, after being bought by BBL Investors, (and being ignored by large casino industry reps MGM Mirage & Kerzner International) casino expansion included more gaming space, new amenities, and an Event Center, making the casino one of the top 5 largest casinos in the nation. Finding the battle with the CT casinos a tough climb, table games were approved by the legislature in 2012. (Newport Grand was not approved for table games by the locals).
Which now all leads up to the latest news.
After the construction of Plainridge Park in Massachusetts as their first Mass. Casino two years ago, Twin River saw a slight dip in revenue and gamblers, but nothing to worry the present ownership, Twin River Management Group (TRMG). After all, they had plans of their own.
Here was the battle plan:
- Buy Newport Grand – providing for future plans
- Build a hotel – to attract gamblers to stay on property, attracting more out-of-state patrons.
- Relocate Newport Grand to a new Hotel/Casino in Tiverton, RI. – offering a quick gambling option for southeast MA & RI.