Rhodes Island Governor Gina Raimondo singlehandedly allowed International Game Technology (IGT) to regulate the state lottery. Now she is under fire for awarding IGT billion-dollar 20-year contract without following the public bidding procedures.
In a meeting organized on 24th Sept, Raimondo supported her decision saying that it was solely centered on the job IGT will create. However, that claim isn’t satisfying; the Island has three companies with the capacity to operate the lottery.
IGT used threats to convince Raimondo to award them the contract. According to sources, they told the governor that if they weren’t given the deal, they would reconsider reducing the staff level in that country. Currently, IGT has a total of 1,000 staff on the Island.
That threat was probably enough to convince the Rhode Island leader, though it lacks logic. Whichever company that would have been chosen, would still hire staff. Thus, the overall employment level won’t have been affected.
Twins River Worldwide Holdings was against the decision. The holding operates two casinos in the state and believes that any entity could handle the job. However, they see the decision solely driven by money rather than IGT working capacity.
Both political spectra have condemned the governor. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has accused her of having an incestuous relationship with IGT.
Twins River Worldwide Holding has promised to counter the governor’s decision. TRWH has teamed up with Camelot Lottery to see that a standard bidding process is followed. TRWH has pledged to employ 1,100 jobs.
It’s not yet clear whether the deal will be revoked openly or it will take a lawsuit to force the governor to back down. It’s reported that the Rhode Island Ethics Commission is investigating the contract.