Newport Residents May Vote Once Again On Table Games At Newport Grand

May 29, 2014

The Newport City council has approved a resolution that could put table games back on the ballot. The council will ask the General Assembly to put the question to Newport voters.

At issue is Newport Grand.  Currently the facility is a slot parlor, but a group of developers want to buy the property and turn it into a Las Vegas-style casino with games like poker and blackjack. That requires an approval from city residents who rejected a similar proposal two years ago. Father Gene McKenna, is President of Citizens Concerned about Casino Gambling says some residents are still opposed to the idea.

“Our position is that there are far better ways to have economic development in the city of Newport, than to increase the gambling at Newport grand," said McKenna.

Former Providence mayor Joseph Paolino, one of the investors who wants to purchase the Newport Grand says table games would bring jobs and boost the economy. He added that looming competition from casinos proposed in Massachusetts pose a threat to Rhode Island’s 3rd largest source of revenue.

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