RIPR News
2:24 pm
Fri August 20, 2010

Chief Sachem interested in role at potential Lincoln casino

Providence, R.I. – Narragansett Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas is still hopeful about the tribe's chances of operating a casino in the Ocean State.

Thomas says he expects legislation to pass in Washington that would put the Narragansetts on a level playing field with other federally recognized tribes. He says that would set the stage for his tribe to work with state officials, and help Rhode Island keep pace with potential gambling expansion in Massachusetts.

Thomas says the federal legislation would allow the tribe to establish a casino without an amendment to the state Constitution.

"We certainly would want to sit with the town and the state if we could get that 'Carcrieri Fix' done," Thomas said, referring to the informal name of the legislation before Congress. "And that's something I think the state should take very seriously, because we would not have to amend the Constitution and we could go at it right away."

Speaking on WRNI's Political Roundtable, Thomas says he would be interested in approaching officials in Lincoln, which is currently home to Twin River, one of Rhode Island's two gambling facilities, and playing a role in establishing full fledged casino gambling at the facility.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Listen to Thomas's comments on the full Political Roundtable recording above.