Bill would let Twin River extend $75K in credit

Twin River Casino is seeking three law changes from state lawmakers.

One would allow the casino to serve alcohol until 2 a.m. on weekends, something already being done on a trial basis. The others are about extending credit to customers and asking the state to chip in more for a marketing program.

Twin River's revenues are holding even as business at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut are declining.

But trouble is around the corner with Massachusetts planning casinos. Rhode Island's casino is asking the state to increase the amount of money it pays to a marketing program from the current $3.6 million to a maximum $7.6 million.

"We've seen some softening in the market recently nationwide. And plus we're preparing for the eventual onslaught of Massachusetts casinos because we know they're coming and it will have a strong financial impact on the state. So, this is a way to take a successful program and enhance it so that the state garners more revenue from the program," spokeswoman Patti Doyle said.

Doyle said it's likely the state will get back a lot more than it puts up. Since it started sharing the costs of the marketing program, it has seen revenues increase by $40 million.

Another law the facility is seeking would let it issue credit of up to $75,000 to gamblers.

"It's a service that just about every casino throughout the country provides," Doyle said.

Doyle said it would be similar to a credit card and that the casino would take all responsibility for collecting debts. She said the casino would not be throwing credit to out-of-control gamblers.

"In fact, you would go through a rigorous process that would probably take two to three days," Doyle said.

Twin River is moving forward with its Mississippi purchase, having received approval from the gaming commission there to go ahead with the $250 million purchase of the Biloxi Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.