Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said Monday that the value of maintaining IGT’s presence in the state justifies not going out to bid for the work provided by the gambling company.

The governor was asked after an unrelated news conference how Rhode Islanders can know the state is getting the best deal without going to bid.

Raimondo responded in part by saying that just three companies in the world can perform the work done by IGT.

“And one of them has 1,100 jobs already in Rhode Island,” she continued. “So we worked hard. We hired an outside consultant, an outside lawyer who is an expert in this and negotiated what I think is an excellent contract.”

The governor said the deal is better than what the state could get through open bidding. In part, she pointed to what she called a new agreement by IGT to update its technology through the life of the contract.

Raimondo said she backs a detailed examination of the IGT by the legislature – “you know, have a real good look under the covers of the deal.” The House is expected to hold hearings some time later this year.  

Critics have called on the state to pursue an open bidding process.

The governor called the process identical to what one of her predecessors, Republican Don Carcieri, did in 2003. 

Twin River, which operates casinos locally in Lincoln and Tiverton, is angling to get some of the video and lottery gambling work done by IGT.

Raimondo said the head of IGT’s Italian parent told her the company is “considering consolidating into fewer offices and that there were many reasons to downsize in Rhode Island, and that he would like to discuss a contract extension and that that would important to them if they were going to keep the jobs here.”