BRIEF Rhode Island Gambling History
Rhode Island Casino Specs and History begins with a different start from their northern neighbors. Massachusetts kicked out Rhode Island’s Puritanical founding father, Roger Williams, for spreading “dangerous opinions.” He landed in Rhode Island, a place where citizens could be free to live their lives according to personal conviction.
According to GamblingSites.com, Rhode Island “became home to a thriving lottery industry. Towns and villages used the collected profits to fund building projects and trade missions. Lotteries supervised by the Masonic lodge and other community organizations. As a result, they funded much of Rhode Island’s early colonial development throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. The late 1800’s saw a state constitution and state laws banned lotteries and gambling in any form.
Horse racing (1930), Greyhound racing, and a lottery (1970) eventually made pari-mutuel wagering legal. In 1992, Rhode Island approved VLT gaming machines (class II) at Lincoln Greyhound Park & Newport Jai Alai.
Twin River Casino Arrives
In 2007, Lincoln Greyhound Park became Twin River Casino with class III gaming. Newport Grand soon followed, redesigning without Jai-Alai. Major expansion in 2007 included class III VLT’s, more like standard Vegas style slot-machines.
Facing competition from Foxwoods in CT, table games were approved for Twin River casino in 2012. The city of Newport refused to allow table games at Newport grand which resulted in the property closing its doors. Soon after, operations were moved to a new casino/hotel in Tiverton.
Twin River Holdings Group Expansion since 2012
- 2014, Twin River bought the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi in Biloxi, Mississippi. After
- March 2019, Twin River completed a reverse merger with Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment, the parent company of Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. The transaction made Twin River a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
- 2015, Twin River purchased Rhode Island’s only other casino, the Newport Grand, for $22 million and announced plans to move its operations. It would build a new facility to be built in Tiverton.
- July 2019, Twin River agreed to buy two casinos in Missouri and Mississippi (Isle of Capri Casino Kansas City and Lady Luck Casino Vicksburg) from Eldorado Resorts for $230 million.
- January 2020, Twin River purchased three casinos in Black Hawk, Colorado (the Golden Gates, Golden Gulch, and Mardi Gras) from Affinity Gaming for $51 million.
- 2018 Recently, Twin River added a hotel. At the same time, Newport Grand closed. TRHG then moved operations to the new Tiverton Casino & Hotel. The $140-million Tiverton Casino Hotel, opened days later.
Current Legal Types Of Gambling
Casino Games: Las Vegas style games offered at both Twin River & Tiverton. Table games are offered at both casinos.
Live Poker: Twin River has a poker room.
Sports Betting: As of November, 2018, Rhode Island allows sports betting. In early 2019, lawmakers expanded legal sports betting to include online and mobile betting. Rhode Island soon will have mobile sports betting.
Lottery Betting: The State lottery in Rhode Island which includes Keno games with their own instant gambling type games. This is a powerful part of the state revenue.
Rhode Island Casino Specs
Please note – some numbers may not be accurate at this time due to changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.