Twin River has signed up another partner, Scientific Games, an acknowledged leader in the gambling industry, in its effort to compete for a lucrative long-term contract to operate most gambling services in Rhode Island.

Marc Crisafulli, executive vice president of Twin River Worldwide Holdings, cited the development as “further proof that there is significant interest in bidding for Rhode Island’s lottery and gaming business, with virtually the entire global lottery industry now confirming that they will participate if an open competitive bidding process develops in Rhode Island.”

Gov. Gina Raimondo hasn’t budged from her support for a no-bid $1 billion 20-year contract extension for IGT Global Services, the company that now runs the Rhode Island Lottery and provides most of the video slot machines at Twin River’s casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton.

Raimondo maintains the IGT deal is the best for the state because, she has said, it offers continuity, better terms than a previous deal backed by GOP Gov. Don Carcieri in 2003, and a guarantee to keep more than 1,100 jobs in Rhode Island.

Twin River has aggressively pressed its argument that open bidding would be better for the state.

After previously being characterized by Raimondo as a hospitality company, Twin River signed up additional partners, Camelot Lottery Solutions, the Greek lottery giant Intralot, and now Las Vegas-based Scientific Games, to rebut that argument.

With the Senate Finance Commitee set to resume hearings Tuesday on the proposed IGT extension, IGT spokesman Bill Fischer accused Twin River of trying to distract state lawmakers "from the real point of these hearings – the approval of an economic development partnership with IGT to preserve 1100 jobs and over $320 million in economic activity that is a foundation of the Rhode Island economy. Once again, Twin River does not present any detailed plan on how they will replace IGT’s $111 million payroll or how long that would take to accomplish."

"Twin River is now claiming it will take a conglomeration of four entities, all seeking their share of profits, to replace the high quality services offered by IGT, the Rhode Island based leader in the gaming industry," Fischer said. "It is unfortunate that their level of desperation has reached such a low point. In recent weeks, Twin River has tried to deflect blame to IGT for their unsuccessful efforts to confront new competition. Yesterday, they pointed at IGT for breaching their contract with the state."

Scientific Games hired a Rhode Island lobbyist earlier this year, signaling a possible partnership with Twin River.

Twin River’s announcement comes one day after the Raimondo administration disclosed a consent agreement with Twin River that the governor said raises questions about Twin River’s leadership.

In a statement, Crisafulli said lottery programs managed by Scientific Games in New England states outperform IGT’s lottery program in Rhode Island.

He said video slots made by Scientific Games “in our two Rhode Island facilities outperformed IGT-controlled machines by over 50% last year, delivering on average over $31,000 more per machine to the State of Rhode Island taxpayers. They have a successful track record of understanding player preferences and delivering products that exceed customer expectations. The New England gaming market has become increasingly competitive, and the addition of Scientific Games to our team is an important part of enhancing our ability to compete and deliver positive results for Rhode Island.”

Some Republican lawmakers have called for an independent study to evaluate the merits of the competing arguments from IGT and Twin River. Raimondo has said the issue has been studied enough.

But House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is open to supporting an independent study, according to his spokesman Larry Berman. “He is also talking with the Senate and various options are being researched,” Berman said. “The Senate is still holding hearings, so any decisions will not likely be finalized until they complete that process.”