Economy
6:35 am
Wed February 9, 2011

Chafee concerned about Mass. casino, but not endorsing table games in RI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor Lincoln Chafee says his administration is keeping a watchful eye on potential casino developments in Massachusetts but stopping short of endorsing a plan to allow table games at Twin River in Lincoln.

Chafee spokesman Mike Trainor says the concern is that a Bay State casino could take revenue away from Rhode Island.

"Because in Massachusetts there have been several proposals made each of the last several years," Trainor says. "Since Twin River gets much of its volume from Massachusetts residents, the governor's concerned that they'd be at a distinct competitive disadvantage to a Massachusetts casino."

Trainor says Governor Chafee does not think table games would be radically different than the current gambling offerings at Twin River. He says the governor also wants to include the Narragansett Indian Tribe on any discussions concerning casino gambling in the state. The tribe lost a 2006 bid to build a full-scale casino in West Warwick.

Governor Chafee is responding to a renewed push by Twin River ownership to add table games to the facility. Twin River released a report yesterday claiming the change could bring $60 million in state revenue and 650 jobs.

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