Bill would double casino pay for Lincoln, Tiverton

Lincoln and Tiverton’s share of money raised from sports bettors at casinos in those cities would double in the state budget that lawmakers are expected to vote on Thursday.

The two communities host casinos owned by Bally’s, formerly Twin River, and receive $ 100,000 a year to compensate them for the authorization of sports betting on the sites.

The budget released by the House finance committee last week would increase these payments to $ 200,000 per year.

House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi mentioned the extra payouts from sports betting during a budget meeting with fellow lawmakers on Tuesday.

“Tiverton is going to do very well in this budget, very well, and Lincoln too for that matter,” Shekarchi told Rep. John Edwards, a Democrat from Tiverton, who had expressed concern over the city’s $ 600,000 loss. in favor of the formula for financing education by the state. .

Shekarchi said the federal COVID stimulus has put all cities and towns in an unusually good fiscal position.

“They’re sitting on a pile of money,” Shekarchi said. “Let’s see how they spend it. Let’s see if they make good things with it.”

Rhode Island launched sports betting in 2018.

The budget also includes wording that would allow a reduction in the share of gaming revenue Lincoln and Tiverton get – starting next year – if casinos are closed more than 30 days a year.

In other business, the House on Wednesday:

Legislation approved that would allow East Providence to join the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council. The Senate passed a similar bill.

The Chamber also created a study commission to look into access to the shores.

And lawmakers voted to make it easier for homeowners to qualify for dimensional deviations from zoning codes. This bill is now going to the Senate.

The House also unanimously passed a bill creating and funding a statewide police camera program. The Senate is expected to vote on its version of the bill on Thursday.

Representative Raymond Hull, who is a police officer from Providence, spoke in favor of body cameras.

“I am looking forward to it. I am wearing one,” Hull said. “We shouldn’t be afraid to show people what we’re doing.”

The bill was introduced by Providence Democratic Representative Jose Batista, the former head of the Providence Civilian Police Oversight Board, who lost his job for posting video of an officer beating a handcuffed man .

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