LINCOLN – Table games will be opening at the Twin River Casino sooner than expected, thanks to a smooth effort to complete preparations for the new operation.
The ribbon on the new live gaming tables will be cut following a ceremony beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 19, according to Patti Doyle, Twin River spokesman.
“July 1 was our original target and we were able to pull that forward to June 19,” Doyle said.
John E. Taylor Jr., Twin River’s chairman, attributed the moved-up opening to the “incredible level of cooperation we have received from our regulators, town officials, unions, Twin River staff and our construction team from Gilbane Building Co.,” he said.
The new area on Twin River’s first level will feature 66 tables of games such as blackjack, craps, several variations of customer versus the dealer three-card poker, roulette and baccarat. The additional games also include a Big 6 wheel that was delivered with the rest of the new tables last week.
Twin River received approval last November from local voters and voters statewide to expand its operations to live gaming as a way to reduce the threat of competition from casinos expected to open in Massachusetts in the near future.
Town Administrator T. Joseph Almond voiced support for the Twin River expansion while pointing to revenue the town receives from the Old Louisquisset Pike and Twin River Road casino operation.
“We’re looking forward to it,” Almond said. “The more stable they can become over the next few years adds stability to our town revenues.”
The town receives a share Twin River’s video gaming terminal revenues that currently total $7 million annually and also local tax revenue from Twin River of about $3 million a year, according to Almond.
The town applies no more than $5.2 million of its Twin River revenues to its annual operating budget and puts the rest in reserve accounts and capital projects.
The new operation is also bringing additional jobs to the casino; Doyle said Thursday Twin River expects to have many of the 600 employees it expected to be added on board for the opening or shortly thereafter.
Some of the table gaming employees are in training or awaiting state certification. Doyle said additional employees will be brought aboard as the operation opens.
“We are still doing hiring right now and we still have people in various stages of the process,” Doyle said. “We are very close to a full complement employees.”
A brief ribbon-cutting is scheduled for June 19 and will be followed by the opening of the new tables to the public, she said. A brief blackjack tournament will be held as part of the opening and Twin River will donate $20,000 to six Rhode Island charities as designated by the winning players.
Taylor said Twin River is looking forward to opening its new operation. “We’ve spent considerable time hiring and training our workforce to well prepare for this new chapter in our history.”