Massachusetts has gone and approved casino gambling in the Commonwealth. They will allow slots at racetracks and 3 full scale “Vegas-style” casinos in the state. Both Fall River and New Bedford have been angling for a while now to get a casino in their cities.
Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox was quoted in the ProJo as being “very concerned” about a Bay State casino(s). The General Assembly here in Rhode Island has approved a 2012 ballot question asking voters to allow table games at Twin River in Lincoln.
Of course the concern comes from the fact that Rhode Island’s economy is addicted to Twin River. We get over $275 million from Twin River plus another $28.7 million from Newport Grand. Of the New Englanders going to play slots at Twin River, 56% of them are from Massachusetts (according to The Providence Journal), a percentage sure to drop precipitously if Bay Staters have slots and table games at home.
So while I personally am opposed to gaming as an economic development tool, it seems inevitable that the Assembly will move to leagalize full “Vegas-style” gaming here in Rhode Island.
So this is our exercise for today. Imagine it is the day after election day, the casino referendum has passed, there’s no saying no, we’re getting a casino. Where should it go?
*Any of these proposals could have the Narragansetts as a partner.