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Happy Thursday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I’ve got a pro tip for you: Those cool-looking AirPod knockoffs that are being advertised on social media aren’t very good. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.
You’ve probably heard that state lawmakers are set to begin hearings today on a proposed billion-dollar, 20-year contract extension for IGT to run the lottery and control more slot machines at Twin River’s two casinos. But there is one aspect of the deal that has flown way under the radar: the potential addition of iLottery.
Under the terms of the agreement, IGT would have an online lottery system – think scratch tickets or PowerBall on your iPhone – up and running no later than October 21, 2021.
In a recent interview on The Public’s Radio, Governor Gina Raimondo hinted that she supports offering more gambling options on mobile devices. Asked for clarity on her statement, a Raimondo spokesperson pointed to the state of Kentucky’s iLottery program as an example of what the governor is backing.
Considering Rhode Island was among the first states to implement mobile sports betting, it’s no surprise officials would be looking at being an early player in the iLottery market. Only seven states currently have online lottery programs.
Depending on its success, an iLottery could also boost IGT’s contract. In the proposal, IGT is eligible for five percent of lottery sales up to $275 million; four percent between $275 million and $400 million; and five percent on anything above $400 million. But regular lottery sales have never hit $275 million in a year.
Of course, the bigger question right now is whether the General Assembly will back the contract extension for IGT, especially with Twin River announcing Wednesday it is partnering with Camelot Lottery Solutions to push for a competitive bidding process.
Legislative leaders have committed to holding hearings on the contract this fall, but they haven’t promised to schedule votes.
NEED TO KNOW
Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you’ve got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.
• My colleague Jonathan Saltzman has an excellent piece on a psychiatrist – and Brown University graduate – who is an open book with his patients when it comes to discussing being diagnosed with an incurable form of kidney cancer.
• Ed Fitzpatrick reports a federal judge has set an October 8 conference aimed at settling the lawsuit Wyatt Detention Facility bondholders filed against Central Falls and the Wyatt board.
• As Rhode Island struggles to find teachers for English language learners, US Representative James Langevin has introduced legislation that would forgive up to $17,500 in student loans to encourage more people to become ELL-certified.
• Congratulations to former WPRI reporter Nneka Nwosu, who is set to become the executive producer of WCVB Channel 5’s “Chronicle.”
• US Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III will launch his campaign to unseat US Senator Ed Markey in a Democratic primary this weekend. The Globe’s Victoria McGrane broke the news, and her story sets the table for what could be one of the most high-profile races in the country.
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.
• The best news: The Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival begins tonight and runs through Sunday.
• If you’d like to better understand Providence pension challenges, state Treasurer Seth Magaziner is offering a lesson for the City Council tonight at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall.
• The Moving Wall, a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, will be in Newport’s Touro Park, beginning today until Monday.
• Tonight is the What Cheer Flower Farm’s annual Flower Festival on Plainfield Street in Providence.
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