Twin River Feels Heat From Encore Boston Harbor, Plans 30 Layoffs at Rhode Island Casino

Posted on: August 14, 2019, 10:20h. 

Last updated on: August 14, 2019, 12:50h.

Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:TRWH) is being crimped by the recent debut of Encore Boston Harbor, and that competitive threat is forcing the Rhode Island casino operator to reduce headcount.

The gaming area at Twin River Casino in Rhode Island where 30 staffers could be let go. (Image: Providence Journal)

The operator of the two Ocean State gaming venues is looking to lay off 30 table game supervisors at its namesake Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I. Staffers accepting a voluntary lay off program will get eight weeks of pay, as well as their unused paid time off, according to the company.

We are effectively staffing to current table games volume,” said TRWH spokeswoman Patti Doyle in a statement provided to “We are hopeful the post-Labor Day trend will kick in and afford us the opportunity to re-hire impacted employees. We are also asking for voluntary work hour reductions. In total, approximately 30 table game supervisors will be impacted.”

Twin River, which also operates the Tiverton Casino in Tiverton, R.I., has consistently warned about potential competitive pressures from Encore Boston Harbor. Several weeks before that Wynn property opened on June 23, TRWH implored Rhode Island officials for more marketing money to stem some of the threat from the Everett, Mass. casino.

Taking A Toll

Encore Boston Harbor, Wynn Resorts’ first US property outside of Las Vegas, appears to be off to an impressive start, and that is putting pressure on other New England casino operators, including TRWH. Although the new Massachusetts casino was open for just eight days of the second quarter, Wynn said the venue contributed $18.8 million in revenue and $100,000 in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to the company’s April through June results.

Conversely, when TRWH reported second-quarter earnings earlier this week, the company confirmed that the newest casino in New England is stealing market share. At the Twin River Casino, second-quarter table and slot revenue slid 34 percent and 17 percent, respectively, from the same period a year earlier, according to the company.

Prior to the opening of the Wynn venue, some analysts speculated that TRWH’s Rhode Island properties would be able to stave off some of the challenges because those casinos don’t target the same customers as Encore Boston Harbor. Analysts also believed smoking areas, better parking, and legal sports betting in the Ocean State could allay some of the Wynn pressure on TRWH.

Seasonal Factors

In a recent conference call with analysts and investors, TRWH noted its Rhode Island properties typically experience seasonal weakness during the summer months through Labor Day, as Rhode Island residents take advantage of good weather to visit other parts of New England.

The company said it’s hoping it experiences the usual post-Labor Day rebound in its home state so that it can offer some of the laid-off workers their jobs back.

Investors cheered news of the reduced staff at Twin River Casino, sending shares of TRWH higher by more than two percent on volume that was more than double the daily average at this writing, while the S&P 500 was lower by almost three percent.