Independent report raises concerns about gambling extension in RI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The independent consultant hired to study the proposed no-bid, 20-year extension of International Game Technology’s contract to run gambling operations in Rhode Island is questioning the length of the contract, according to a published report.

The analysis by Christiansen Capital Advisors said it has never recommended a 20-year- contract to any of the lotteries it has advised, The Providence Journal reported Tuesday.

“A ten-year initial contract term, with optional extensions, has been a standard recommendation,” the group said.

It also found that the proposal would likely cost slightly more.

“Based upon our analysis of pricing for traditional lottery services in other states … the pricing of this contract extension is toward the higher end of what we would expect from a competitive bid, but less than 1% higher,” the report said.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo and legislative leaders support the proposed contract, in part because it keeps about 1,000 jobs in the state.

Republican lawmakers and the operator of the state’s two casinos, Twin River Worldwide Holdings, say the contract should be put out to bid.

State-sponsored gambling, including the lottery and at casinos, is Rhode island’s third-largest source of state revenue.

Legislative leaders have not yet commented on the newly released report.

(Copyright (c) 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)