By Steve Klamkin WPRO News
Governor Gina Raimondo says she would listen to competing proposals to run the state lottery, but says that she favors extending the contract for current vendor IGT.
Fresh from a week at the Sun Valley investment conference and Democratic Governors’ meetings on Nantucket, Raimondo is defending the deal, which was raised at the 11th hour of the legislation session, to extend the lottery’s contract with IGT, the Italian-owned International Game Technology, formerly the combination of Rhode Island – based G-Tech and Italian gaming giant Lottomatica.
Just over three years remain in the state’s current contract with IGT to run the lottery.
“I believe it’s a deal that protects taxpayers, allows the lottery to run the lottery well and secures over a thousand well-paying jobs for over 20 years,” Raimondo told reporters following an unrelated State House announcement.
“Having said that, it’s not a done deal. It’s over at the legislature right now, I hope they have extensive hearings,” Raimondo said.
Casino operator Twin River Holdings has been taking full-page ads questioning what it calls a secret, no-bid, 20-year contract worth a billion dollars with IGT. She calls the extension a “tentative proposal” that needs to be aired in public.
“Twin River is not in this business, you have to remember that,” Raimondo said in response to reporters’ questions.
“Twin River has zero experience or track record, they don’t run lotteries, you know? They are a hospitality vendor that operates casinos. There are three companies in the world that do what IGT does. Twin River’s not one of them,” Raimondo said.