The full house has approved a bill allowing Twin River Casino to build a hotel on its property. Twin River wants the hotel to compete with proposed casinos in Massachusetts.
The restriction that keeps Twin River from building a hotel was originally put in place to protect Providence area hotels from losing business. But now Massachusetts plans to open three casinos and a slot parlor, threatening Twin River’s revenue. Twin River officials have unveiled a proposal to build a four story hotel on their Lincoln property.
One of the developers behind turning Newport Grand into a casino said he’s surprised that Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed has now come out against table games in Newport. Her comments came shortly after Wednesday night’s vote by the Newport City Council to reject a host agreement with developers.
In what the Senate president called “an abundance of caution” the state senate voted again and approved a bill putting casino gambling in Newport on the November ballot.
Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed says the governor’s legal counsel was worried that the part of the bill giving $1.5 million dollars to Newport would be considered an appropriation. And appropriation measures need a two-thirds majority, or 26 votes. It got only 24 votes in the final hours of the session.
Former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino said he and some partners are interested in buying Newport Grand. Paolino said the struggling slot parlor needs to be saved before table games come to Massachusetts.
Paolino said he and his two partners have been talking with owners of Newport Grand since last summer. Since then Foxwoods has been looking at building a casino in Fall River, and Paolino sees that as a dire threat.