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Happy Wednesday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I wonder if it’s too soon to call for an asterisk next to the Dodgers' World Series victory. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.
ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 31,445 confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday, after adding 288 new cases. The most recent overall daily test-positive rate was 3.6 percent, but the first-time positive rate was 10.3 percent. The state announced four more deaths, bringing the total to 1,188. There were 168 people in the hospital.
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If it feels like Rhode Island-based Twin River Worldwide Holdings is gobbling up casinos all around the country, it’s because it is.
The latest acquisition by the company, which owns casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton, came Tuesday when it announced that it has purchased the Tropicana Evansville casino in Indiana for $140 million.
Weeks earlier, Twin River announced it purchased the Bally’s brand from Caesars Entertainment, which could eventually result in a name change for the Rhode Island casinos, although no final decision has been made. Twin River also owns casinos in Delaware, Missouri, Mississippi, Colorado, Louisiana, Nevada, and New Jersey.
So what’s driving the buy storm?
Marc Crisafulli, Twin River’s executive vice president, said the company, which went public in March 2019, has consistently told its shareholders that it is seeking to acquire casinos that may be underinvested and have lost some of their market share.
That’s corporate speak for swooping in to scoop up struggling casinos in need of a makeover – and the market is ripe.
“There’s a reason we are able to acquire some of these properties,” Crisafulli said, pointing to Twin River’s strong cash position. The company was trading at $23.95 a share when the market closed on Tuesday.
Crisafulli said the company is particularly interested in sports betting, which is expected to see explosive growth in the next five years as more states begin to legalize it. Rhode Island launched its sportsbook nearly two years ago.
Here at home, Crisafulli said he’s hopeful that Twin River won’t be asked to shut down because of a second wave of the coronavirus, and he said he’s looking forward to the General Assembly reconvening and taking up legislation that would extend a billion-dollar lottery and casino contract for IGT and Twin River.
If the deal is approved, Twin River plans to expand in Lincoln and open a new headquarters at 225 Dyer St. in Providence (the Globe’s Rhode Island bureau also has office space in that building). “We can’t go forward until the law is passed,” Crisafulli said.
THE GLOBE IN RHODE ISLAND
⚓ Unlike the bitter battle between President Trump and Joe Biden at the national level, the race for mayor of Cranston is surprisingly civil – and residents like it. Read more.
⚓ Brown University School of Public Health Dean Dr. Ashish Jha says President Trump’s claim that doctors are falsifying COVID-19 deaths is ridiculous. Read more.
⚓ Here’s some good news for those of us who are obsessed with Election Night: The state Board of Elections will begin releasing mail-in ballot counts by 11 p.m. on Tuesday. Read more.
⚓ My latest edition of Home Stretch looks at the key counties to watch in swing states in the race for president. Read more.
⚓ Elsewhere: Vanity Fair takes a deep dive into the Wall Street Journal’s constant criticism of US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Read more.
MORE ON BOSTONGLOBE.COM
⚓ Sports: Now that the World Series is over, Alex Speier writes that the biggest question for the Red Sox is whether Alex Cora will be rehired following his yearlong suspension. Read more.
⚓ Health: Health care workers for the elderly in Massachusetts are required to get a flu shot this year to avoid the so-called twindemic of the seasonal flu and COVID-19, but they are contending with spot shortages of the vaccine as well as antivaccine sentiment among some workers. Read more.
⚓ Spooky: 2020 is really something else. A full moon will be visible across the world on Halloween for the first time since 1944. Read more.
⚓ Food: How will restaurants handle Thanksgiving in a pandemic? Devra First dives into the challenges the industry is facing. Read more.
WHAT’S ON TAP TODAY
Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.
⚓ BIRTHDAYS: Rhode Map readers, if you want a friend or family member to be recognized on Friday, send me an e-mail with their first and last name, and their age.
⚓ Governor Gina Raimondo’s weekly coronavirus press conference is at 1 p.m.
⚓ The task force that is studying the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights is holding a virtual meeting at 3 p.m.
⚓ The Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics at Brown University is holding a virtual lecture and panel discussion on political gerrymandering at 4 p.m.
⚓ Halloween fun: The Knight Memorial Library is running a socially distanced haunted maze beginning at 6 p.m.
⚓ Do you ❤️ Rhode Map? Your subscription is what makes it possible. We’ve got a great offer here.
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