Raimondo: IGT CEO told me 1,000 RI jobs could disappear without new deal

Raimondo: IGT CEO told me 1,000 RI jobs could disappear without new deal


POWERLINES. (CG) FIRST AT 530 — AN INTERVIEW YOU’LL SEE ONLY ON EYEWITNESS NEWS. (SN) FOR WEEKS, GOVERNOR GINA RAIMONDO HAS BEEN UNDER ATTACK… OVER HER PROPOSAL TO EXTEND THE STATE CONTRACT WITH GAMBLING COMPANY I-G-T. TONIGHT, SHE’S FIRING BACK. (CG) RAIMONDO ARGUES THE DEAL WITH I-G-T ….IS A GOOD ONE. AND WITHOUT IT —- RHODE ISLAND COULD LOSE ROUGHLY 1,000 HIGH-PAYING JOBS. THE GOVERNOR SAT DOWN WITH EYEWITNESS NEWS POLITICS EDITOR TED NESI TODAY IN HER STATE HOUSE OFFICE. HE JOINS US NOW — WITH THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW. (TN) I-G-T HANDLES THE TECHNOLOGY SIDE OF GAMBLING… FROM VIDEO LOTTERY TERMINALS AT TWIN RIVER TO PROCESSING SCRATCH TICKETS. BUT WITH THE COMPANY NOW RUN OUT OF EUROPE THE GOVERNOR SAYS RHODE ISLAND CAN’T TAKE ITS LOCAL PRESENCE FOR GRANTED. GOVERNOR GINA RAIMONDO… MAKING THE CASE TO EXTEND I-G-T’S STATE CONTRACT. “It’s a good deal for taxpayers. and it saves jobs.” IGT EMPLOYS ROUGHLY 1000 WORKERS IN RHODE ISLAND, MANY AT ITS DOWNTOWN PROVIDENCE TOWER. THE COMPANY IS NOW ITALIAN-CONTROLLED… BUT STILL HAS A LARGE LOCAL PRESENCE FROM ITS DAYS AS LOCALLY OWNED GTECH. “I think people need to know there’s a risk. I don’t want any surprise or sadness, six or 12 months now, if IGT says we’re winding down our operations in Rhode Island.” RAIMONDO SAYS SHE LEARNED OF THAT RISK WHEN I-G-T’S C-E-O CAME TO SEE HER IN JANUARY. “And they were thinking, evaluating, whether they were going to keep those jobs in Rhode Island. And they asked me if I would consider now beginning the process of doing the contract extension and – yes. I said yes. That’s my job.” : “How do you know they weren’t bluffing? Scare her and we’re going to get her to give us a great contract for 20 years because she doesnt wan’t to lose those jobs.” “Yes so let me say two things. One, you never know. But this is a good deal. In other words, I wouldnt keep these jobs at all costs. I wouldn’t say. give ’em whatever they want. In fact what I said to my team was, negotiate the best contract you can THE DEAL — WHICH DIDN’T GO OUT TO BID — WOULD EXTEND I-G-T’S LUCRATIVE CONTRACT FOR 20 YEARS. IN RETURN I-G-T WOULD PAY THE STATE 25 MILLION DOLLARS UPFRONT… EMPLOY AT LEAST 1100 WORKERS… AND UPGRADE GAMES AT TWIN RIVER. “There’s only three companies in the world qualified to do this business. And only one of them is the local team. So yes, I want to do business with a local company – if we get a good deal.” “If they’re offering such a great deal what’s the harm in going out to a competitive bidding process then? If the deal’s that great, they’re gonna win it.” “Yes, if we had done that, then the economic development components wouldn’t be on the table.” (TN) THE GOVERNOR SAYS SHE DOESN’T WANT LAWMAKERS TO “DILLY DALLY” OVER THE ISSUE. SENATE LEADERS SAY THEY WILL HOLD HEARINGS ON THE I-G-T DEAL THIS FALL … BUT A SPOKERSPERSON FOR HOUSE SPEAKER NICHOLAS MATTIELLO SAYS HE WON’T DO THE SAME UNTIL AN ENTIRE DRAFT CONTRACT WITH I-G-T IS RELEASED. TED NESI,

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