‘Under-performing’ slots yanked as Rhode Island casino drama drags on
Rhode Island lottery officials are ordering the removal of more than 350 slot machines at the state’s Twin Rivers Casino. The machines, which are operated by International Gaming Technology (IGT) haven’t been meeting the profit standards set by the state, but that’s only part of the story.
Rhode Island’s gambling market is currently gripped by drama involving Governor Gina Raimondo and her close relationship with former IGT executives and the pulling of slot machines from Twin Rivers Casino is just the latest episode. (Though earlier this week, state lawmakers approved an ethics inquiry into that very relationship.)
According to a report in the Providence Journal, 370 IGT machines were pulled for failing to meet the revenue standards set by the state’s lottery commission. Additionally, IGT is removing another 270 machines on its own, though it’s unclear why, exactly, the company chose to remove those machines from the casino.
According to published reports, revenue from slot machines was down 17 percent over the previous year and table games were down a whopping 34 percent.
The Journal, Department of Revenue spokesman Paul Grimaldi told the Providence Journal, “RI Lottery officials met with IGT managers today to inform the company that it would remove 360 of its [VLTs] from the casinos. Doing this will raise its efficiency rating to at least 100 percent.”
IGT spokesman Bill Fischer downplayed the removal of more than 600 slot machines from the casino floor saying it was all the result of routine yearly reviews and that they were working closely with lottery officials on the effort.