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Even in weak economy, RI gambling revenue rises

November 25, 2011
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PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Even in a weak economy, gambling in Rhode Island is a money-maker.

The Rhode Island Lottery says slot-parlor revenue has risen to $492.6 million from $416.5 million in "net terminal income" in the last five years. That's an increase of more than 18 percent.

The Providence Journal reports ( http://bit.ly/uGz8Jy) that State Lottery Director Gerald S. Aubin says the General Assembly allowed slot parlors to spend more on rewards programs to lure players with "free plays" and other incentives.

Keno and lottery games like Powerball and the Daily Numbers generated more than $230 million in gross sales in the last fiscal year, though their revenue has declined since 2006.

Overall, state gambling revenue has trended upward since the 2006 budget year and is the state's third-largest revenue source, at about $355 million.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com

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