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William H. Warner Drops Bid for Gambling License in Rhode Island

A Las Vegas gambling executive has a dropped his bid for a gaming license in Rhode Island amid concerns about his efforts to build a Massachusetts casino facility that would directly compete with the Twin River slots parlor.

William H. Warner of Warner Gaming informed the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation on November 3rd, 2009 that he was withdrawing his application for a gambling operator's license, according to department director Michael Marquez.

The department started reviewing Warner's background this summer when he came under serious consideration for taking over the operation of the financially troubled Twin River slots parlor. The group that manager Twin River, UTGR Inc., filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2009.

In October 2009, Warner and a gaming partner unveiled a proposal to construct a resort casino in Milford, Massachusetts, joining the group of gaming developers that are betting that criticism and opposition to casino gaming in the state of Massachusetts will finally end under the immense weight of the Bay State's financial problems.

Last week, Governor Deval Patrick said that he plans to solve his state's $600 million budget deficit with a mix of cuts in state programs and services and up to two thousand job cuts. Aside from that, Massachusetts legislators started examining testimony from the public on a variety of gaming bills, from proposals that would license casino facilities to proposals that would permit slot machines at Massachusetts' racing tracks.

Warner's gaming proposal would construct a gaming facility that could hold five thousand slot machines, 250 casino gaming tables, hotel rooms, restaurants and all the features of a full-fledge casino gaming resort. The facility, known as the Crossroads Resort Project, would be located along Route 495 in Milford-which is about twenty miles north of Twin River.

Marquez said that the casino proposal raised the hackles of the creditors trying to fix the finances of the Twin River slots facility in Lincoln. When UTGR Incorporated filed for Chapter Eleven bankruptcy protection, the company owed a total of $568 million to dozens of banks, investment groups, government agencies, contractors and different individuals but had only $56.6 million in assets.

Merrill Lynch Capital Corporation, Wells Fargo and Co., BlackRock Incorporated, Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase Bank are among the creditors owed cash by UTGR Incorporated. Out of every dollars place at one of the 4,750 video lottery terminals at the Twin River, the state gets slightly more than sixty cents.

The slot machines alone produced a total of $396.7 million in net income in the year ended June 30th. From those gamer losses, Massachusetts get more than sixty percent, which is $242.3 million; Twin River's owners, $110.3 million Providence-based GTECH and other gaming equipment providers divide $27.8 million; GTECH, another $9.9 million as the central-system operator and the Town of Lincoln, $5.7 million.

For the Milford project, Warner has joined with David H. Nunes, another casino gaming industry members with connections to Rhode Island's gambling issue, Nunes, a resident of Colorado, was involved with Donald Trump in the well-known financier's failed bid to construct a casino facility in Johnston.


Sunday, 22 November 2009
Theo Evans