FRIAS ON THE DECLINE IN CASINO REVENUES
In an opinion column, entitled “The Impending Decline of Rhode Island Casinos” published this week in the Cranston Herald, Warwick Beacon and Johnston Sunrise, R.I. Republican National Committeeman Steven Frias argues that the Rhode Island’s casinos are in decline and therefore it would be unwise avoid locking taxpayers into a no-bid contract which would give IGT 85 percent of video slot machines at Rhode Island casinos.
Here is an excerpt:
“There are primarily three reasons why Rhode Island casinos are entering a period of decline. First, growing competition from Massachusetts’s gambling facilities is causing Rhode Island casinos to lose customers … Second, the customer base interested in playing slot machines is shrinking due to changing demographics … Third, the cost structure for Rhode Island casinos makes it difficult for them to make large investments or offer amenities to compete with nearby destination luxury resort casinos such as Encore Boston Harbor … The coming decline of Rhode Island’s casinos will in some ways parallel the demise of Rhode Island’s horse race tracks a generation ago …With Rhode Island casinos entering an era of decline, lawmakers should avoid locking taxpayers into a no-bid contract which would give IGT 85 percent of video slot machines at Rhode Island casinos until 2043. IGT’s video slot machines are failing to meet performance standards under its current contract with the Rhode Island Lottery and their slot machines may be generating less revenues than those of its competitors.”