Tiverton Casino opened to the public for the first time Saturday morning. A crowd came out to explore the new facility. A line of hundreds snaked around the building waiting for the doors to open.
When 10 o’clock rolled around, the doors opened with little fanfare, and the guests streamed in, dashing to the more than 1,000 video slot machines inside the facility.
“I was afraid I wasn’t going to get a machine, but there’s so many machines, and I love it,” said Cindy Tavares of Swansea, who was a part of the initial wave of players. “I love playing the slot machines. I love the excitement of knowing whether I’m going to win or not win.”
In addition to slots, the facility houses table games like poker, and black jack, something casino owners hope will attract new business to Tiverton. The new casino replaces Newport Grand, the slot parlor and former Jai-Lai fronton, after efforts to introduce table games there failed.
Kyle Fernandez of New Bedford brought his 84-year old godfather to opening day.
“I brought him, and his wife and my sister and my daughter,” Fernandez said. “Took us only 25 minutes to get here.”
How does he feel about now having a casino so close to home?
“Could be dangerous, that’s all I can tell you. I like to gamble,” said Fernandez with a laugh.
When the 85000-square foot casino was first proposed back in 2015, management estimated the facility would earn more than $100-million in revenue annually.
The new casino sits right on the Fall River line; Twin River management hopes to attract patrons from the South Coast of Massachusetts and other nearby communities.
“It’s hard to explain. I don’t come to win; I come to have a good time,” said Wayne Raedel of Dartmouth. “If I win that’s a plus. If I don’t, I only come with what I can lose and if I lose it, I go home.”