In recent interviews, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello referred to the Rhode Island Lottery, which is controlled by Governor Gina Raimondo, as having an “incestuous” relationship with IGT. He also stated he was putting “heat” on Gerald Aubin, the executive director of the Lottery. However, Mattiello also indicated he was holding hearings on and was open to supporting legislation which would allow Raimondo’s Lottery to enter into a new no-bid twenty-year contract with IGT.

RI GOP Chairwoman Sue Cienki commented: “Mr. Speaker, if you truly believe that the Lottery has an incestuous relationship with IGT then how could you be open to supporting legislation that would authorize the Lottery to negotiate and enter into a new no-bid twenty-year contract with IGT? If you think the Lottery is acting inappropriately by not enforcing the terms of its current contract with IGT, then why give the Lottery the power to negotiate and enter into a new no-bid twenty-year deal with IGT especially when the Raimondo administration is refusing to provide a draft of the new contract. Also, putting heat on Aubin or having him replaced as the Lottery’s executive director won’t change the fact that the Lottery is controlled by Governor Raimondo. Governor Raimondo and Donald Sweitzer, IGT’s lobbyist, are DGA business associates, which is why she is under investigation by the Ethics Commission for her deal with IGT. Raimondo’s Lottery cannot be trusted to get the best deal for taxpayers from IGT.”

Cienki concluded: “The only way to ensure Rhode Island gets the best deal for its lottery and video slot machines is to go out to competitive bid. If the General Assembly authorizes Raimondo’s Lottery and IGT to enter into a no-bid deal, it won’t put an end to the incestuous relationship between Raimondo’s Lottery and IGT, but instead enable it. Not only will a no-bid deal between Raimondo’s Lottery and IGT be tainted in the eyes of the public, but so will the reputations of all legislators who vote for it.”

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