The plan, being announced during a news conference at IGT’s Providence office, ends a bitter feud that persisted between the two companies for the most of 2019, with the deployment of a large number of lobbyists and communications consultants.

In a statement, IGT and Twin River said their proposal will help Rhode Island to protect its third-largest revenue source, gambling, against increasing competition in southern New England.

The companies say they will seek legislative approval for a bill authorizing Gov. Gina Raimondo to extent IGT’s contract through 2043.

According to IGT and Twin River, the legislation would “continue to include the employment commitment of 1100 jobs in Rhode Island with an aggregate annual payroll of at least 250% of minimum wage, an investment of $150 million and a payment of $25 million in license fees, $6.5 million of which will now be paid by Twin River.”

“This announcement signals the start of a strong three-way partnership that includes not just the two companies, but the State of Rhode Island as well,” Robert K. Vincent, chairman of IGT Global Corporation, said in a statement. “Importantly, it will harness the strongest attributes of each company to better serve Rhode Island taxpayers, to preserve valuable jobs and to make meaningful infrastructure improvements at the gambling facilities.”

While the joint venture would remove uncertainty for IGT and Twin River while generating a lucrative revenue stream,Vincent joined other executives in calling the proposal a better deal than what Rhode Island could get through competitive bidding.

Marc Crisafulli, executive vice president of Twin River Worldwide Holdings, said the company plans to occupy a 12,000-square-foot headquarters in Providence, with various locations under consideration.

“When we announced our decision to locate our headquarters here approximately one year ago we said we were excited to be a part of the revitalization of this great city,” Crisafulli said. “We are equally committed to taking a more active role in that resurgence and establishing deep roots in our hometown is just one of many ways we will achieve that.” 

While House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio said the joint IGT-Twin River proposal requires scrutiny, they both expressed satisfaction that the two sides have come together on an agreement.

A more critical response came from RI GOP National Committeeman Steve Frias, who ran against Mattiello for his state rep seat in 2016 and 2018.

"As we have learned over the last few months from Twin River and others, IGT’s twenty-year billion-dollar no-bid contract is a bad deal for taxpayers," Frias said. "This deal does not automatically become a good one for taxpayers because IGT and Twin River will now be business partners. As shown by the recent report by Christiansen Capital Advisors to the House of Representatives, a competitive bid process is the best way to ensure taxpayers get the best price. This deal may now be good for both IGT and Twin River, but it remains a risky deal for taxpayers because we will be locking ourselves into a no-bid contract affecting our third largest source of revenue for the next twenty years. If the General Assembly approves this deal, they will be engaging in fiscal malpractice."

According to a joint IGT-Twin River statement, the joint venture, if approved by the legislature, would become effective January 1, 2022. IGT would have a 60 percent controlling stake, while Twin River would have the remaining 40 percent.

From the companies’ release: “The joint venture will be a licensed VLT provider and supply the entirety of the gaming machines to the Lottery. IGT-manufactured machines and multiple other manufacturers will supply the floor that will continue to be managed by efficiency rating system. IGT’s initial 40% share will increase or decrease based on performance relative to its competitors.”

As part of the agreement, Twin River will seek licensing as a technology provider and get about 23 percent of the video slot terminals from third-party vendors, as of July 2020.

Twin River and IGT say their joint venture would be governed by a five-member board of directors. Jay Gendron, chief operating officer of IGT, would serve as chairman and Crisafulli as cice chairman. They say other members would be jointly selected.

The expansion of Twin River’s Lincoln casino, with an envisioned $100 million cost, would include a 40,000-square foot addition to the first-floor gambling attractions, a 14,000-square-foot spa at the company’s adjoining hotel, more separation between smoking and non-smoking areas, and plans for additional entertainment on the second floor.