Gov. Raimondo backs IGT contract extension at House Finance Committee hearing

By: Ellie Romano

Email: ERomano@ABC6.com

Twitter: @ERomanoABC6

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Governor Gina Raimondo testified in favor of a contract extension with gaming company IGT at the House Finance Committee hearing Tuesday afternoon.

The governor helped broker the deal and wants the General Assembly to pass House Bill 6266 that would extend IGT’s control of the state’s lottery for another 20 years.

Raimondo warned members of the House Finance Committee that if they don’t extend the contract, there could be serious economic impacts. 

“I want to be very clear with this committee: we are at risk of losing 1,000 high paying jobs,” said Raimondo.

The governor told committee members she met with the CEO of IGT earlier this year and was told if the contract is not extended, IGT will remove its North American headquarters from Rhode Island, along with the 1,100 jobs the company provides in the state.

“They are software jobs, technology jobs, custodial jobs,” said Raimondo.

The governor also discredited a competing proposal that was released earlier this month by Twin River and Camelot. Raimondo said neither company has the necessary technology to run the state’s lottery.

“There’s only three companies in the country who can do this business,” said Raimondo. “Only one of them is a Rhode Island company and I say keep the work local whenever we can.”

Both the House and Senate Finance Committees are in the process of reviewing the contract.

Some lawmakers are skeptical about passing a lengthy deal.

“10 years is around the corner, but 20 years sounds very far,” said Rep. Carlos Tobon. “How do we guarantee that [IGT] is going to stay at the top of their game?”

Other lawmakers in the House Finance Committee want to see more research done before they make a decision.

Raimondo will testify again on the topic at the Senate Finance Committee’s October 1 hearing.

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