LINCOLN – Twin River officials have received state approval to increase the number of table games at the 100 Twin River Road, state-supervised casino, and may be unveiling a new expansion plan even as casino plans move forward in nearby Massachusetts.
Twin River spokeswoman Patti Doyle confirmed on Tuesday that the casino received permission from the state Lottery Commission last Friday to increase the number of live gaming tables from 66 to 80, but noted a specific plan for an expansion has not yet been finalized.
“The request was made by Twin River because the initial tables we installed have been very successful,” Doyle said. “They have exceeded our expectations.”
Twin River will be looking at its current layout of live gaming tables and 4,500 video gaming terminals to create a plan making best use of the available space and allowed expansion, according to Doyle.
The towns of Plainville and West Springfield held referendum question votes on Tuesday to determine if casino proposals in those communities could move forward under the Massachusetts law approved in 2011 allowing an expansion of gambling in the state. Plainville’s electorate voted 76 percent to 24, according to the Sun Chronicle of Attleboro, to support development of the state’s only planned slots parlor at the Plainridge track in that community. West Springfield voters, by a 55-45 margin, rejected a plan for Hard Rock International to develop one of the three full-fledged casinos allowed under the gambling expansion law on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition, the Republican of Springfield reported.
The Associated Press reported the West Springfield development could bring in more than $26 million to the city and nearby region annually.
The state Gambling Commission must also approve any proposal moving on to final development.
The interest in Twin River’s new table game operation since it opened on June 19 was the motivating force behind the Rhode Island casino’s bid to expand the live gaming operation in Lincoln, according to Doyle.
“We are very much focused on the business at hand,” she said. Since the live table game operation opened on the main floor of Twin River in June, it has become clear that the new games are popular with Twin River’s customers, according to Doyle.
The Lottery Commission has reported that the tables offering games such as blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and some versions of poker brought in about $1.8 million in total revenue during the remaining portion of June and $5.9 million in revenue for the whole month of July. Of the July table gaming proceeds, the state collected $1.1 million as its share and Twin River a total of $4.9 million.
The interest has been strong enough for the casino to contemplate the expansion of the live gaming operation even as it continues to realize revenue from the casino’s video game terminals, according to Doyle.
Twin River CEO John Taylor has maintained that the casino would allow the market to determine its pace of development for the live gaming operation, according to Doyle. “And it is very clear what the customers want,” she added while pointing to the higher-than-expected demand for live gaming thus far. “The Lottery Commission published the numbers for July and it was a terrific month.”
Doyle said Twin River will be announcing a plan for expanding table games in the near future. “We are just doing some initial planning and development,” she said of the pending announcement.