Rhode Island expects to pocket six-and-a-half million dollars just from table games in the next fiscal year.
Fred Carstensen is an economist at the University of Connecticut who has been studying casino gambling in that state. He said as casinos open in Massachusetts, Rhode Island should expect to get a smaller piece of the casino pie.
"It’s not a bottomless pit, you’re shifting money away from other activities and frankly it doesn’t really create value," said Cartensen.
Casino gambling just like in Las Vegas is scheduled to begin Wednesday at Twin River in Lincoln.
The one-time dog track has become the first venue ever in Rhode Island to offer table games thanks to voters, who approved the change to stave off competition from new casinos proposed for Massachusetts.
Gambling is a major part of the state budget, and to better understand how games like blackjack and roulette will affect the budget, Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison sat down with Paul Dion from the State Department of Revenue.
There’s an old chestnut in banking: If you owe the bank $10,000, the bank owns you. If you owe the bank $100 million, you own the bank.
That’s pretty much what has happened in Rhode Island state government’s quest to regulate the state-sponsored gambling emporiums at Newport Grand and at Twin River (aka Twin Rivahs in Vo Dilundese) in Lincoln.
If you know somebody in need of a job, you might want to steer them to Twin River. The slot parlor is going to full casino gambling this summer and Twin River spokeswoman Patti Doyle says they’re still looking to hire at least 300 workers, mostly dealers. She describes the qualities they’re looking for.
– Providence Mayor Angel Taveras is the most popular elected official in Rhode Island, with an impressive 65.6 percent approval rating, up from 59.8 percent in February.
– State Treasurer Gina Raimondo placed second with a 58.7 percent approval rating, up from 57.7 percent earlier this year. (Statewide findings are based on results from 496 registered voters; the margin of error is 4.4 percentage points.)
No matter that casinos are on the horizon in Massachusetts, and Foxwoods is facing an uncertain future. The Rhode Island Lottery’s latest contribution to the state general fund is $377.7 million, almost $23 million more than the previous year, according to a legislative news release:
Video lottery accounted for $320.8 million or 84% of total gross profit.
Rhode Island voters have twice turned down the chance to bring Las Vegas style casinos in the Ocean State. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says things will probably be different this year.
Rhode Island once had a vigorous anti-casino movement whose members lobbied at the State House and campaigned across the state. Our state once had an anti-casino governor, Republican Lincoln Almond, who considered state promotion of gambling little more than a cheap tax on the poor. The state’s media, led by the Providence Journal, once editorialized against the expansion of gambling.