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Rhode Island casino struggles with Encore Boston’s success

Fri, Aug 16, 7:52am by Staff Writer

The recent opening of Encore’s Boston Casino could force layoffs at the nearby Twin River Casino in Lincoln due to the poorer performance of its table games in recent weeks.

Casino News Daily reports that the property, which is owned by gaming and hospitality operator Twin River Worldwide Holdings, is one of Rhode Island’s two operational casinos, the other being Twin River Casino in Tiverton.

A spokeswoman for the Lincoln venue said earlier this week that up to 30 table games supervisors could be sacked as a result of the property’s failure to perform according to expectations.

Ms Doyle went on to explain that they are “effectively staffing to the present volume of business on the table games.”

The property’s spokeswoman also revealed that they are exploring voluntary reduction of hours in a bid to prevent massive layoffs.

Hopes are that business will pick up after the upcoming Labor Day weekend and that they will be able to re-employ some of the sacked workers.

The announcement about Twin River looking to reduce staff comes shortly after the company released its financial report for the second quarter.

The performance of table games was in fact worse than expected, while the performance of its slot machines was in line with projections.

In July, revenue from table games at the property recorded a 34 per cent annual drop to $7.6 million, while slot machines NTI decreased 17 per cent year-on-year to $32.2 million.

Twin River attributed the slowing business at its Lincoln business to the recent launch of the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbour integrated resort in neighbouring Massachusetts.

The Wynn Resorts-operated mega complex was launched in late June and recorded $16.8 million in revenue during its first week of operation.

The figures showing how the property performed in its first full month are due next week.

Tiverton casino not having the same struggles

Twin River’s other Rhode Island casino was not impacted by the new Boston casino, the company said in its report.

The Tiverton casino itself opened doors not long ago.

The operator launched the property last Autumn by transferring its existing Newport Grand licence to Tiverton. The Newport Grand facility was then closed.

Twin River said in its quarterly report that they were pleased with the lack of impact they have experienced at Tiverton where “gaming volumes in July were relatively flat to our recent monthly run-rate, which we view as a positive.”

The company added that when they planned the opening of that second property, “the expectation was for it to offset the impact of new competition so that operating income in the market would be flat to Lincoln alone.”

The recent performance of their Lincoln property has forced the company to revise its expectations for combine operating income to be 10 per cent lower than initial expectation levels.

Twin Rivers’ two casinos in Rhode Island are currently the only properties in the New England region to offer sports betting.

Both casinos debuted their sportsbooks late last year, hoping that wagering would offset the growing competition in the region.

Legal sports betting generated $6.9 million by the end of the 2018-19 fiscal year, which translates to roughly $3.5 million in revenue for the state.

Under Rhode Island law, the state collects 51 per cent of the wagering revenue generated at the two sportsbooks.

The state’s take was well below the $23.5 million prediction made by Governor Gina Raimondo’s administration last year, as well as the $11.5 million estimate made this past January.

Yet it exceeded the $2.2 million state lawmakers included in the revised budget for the last fiscal year that was passed in June.

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