Newport Grand seeking state help

Apr 11, 2013

The Newport Grand slot machine parlor lost its attempt to expand with Las Vegas-style table games in last November’s election. Now Newport Grand is seeking a break from state gaming taxes while the gambling emporium decides its next move.

Under legislation introduced in the Rhode Island General Assembly, Newport Grand is looking to decrease the share of gambling revenues it send to the state by about $3 million over the next two years, according to Diane Hurley, owner of Newport Grand.

Voters statewide approved Newport’s bid for table games, but voters in its host city rejected the casino-style games.

Hurley said that Newport Grand wants some breathing room as it assesses what competition from Twin River in Lincoln, which was granted the table games, and the Massachusetts attempt to build new casinos in the Bay State will mean for Newport.

Newport Grand contributed about $30 million to state coffers last year. The slot parlor currently keeps 27.8 cents of each dollar wagered in the slots. The legislation will move that to 31 percent for two years.

```The big question is what does the competition from Twin River and the Massachusetts casinos mean for us,’’ said Hurley.

Under Rhode Island law, gambling an only be expanded if voters statewide and in the host community approve.