Citizens Concerned About Casino Gambling

RIPR FILE

Developer Joe Paolino has made a deal to buy Newport Grand slot parlor.  Paolino says there are still a few a details to be worked out.

Newport Grand produces far less revenue for the state than Twin River in Lincoln. Yet it remains part of Rhode Island’s third-largest revenue stream. Paolino said he thinks Newport Grand offers a great opportunity.

He would not say how much he's paying for the slot parlor, or whether he had partners in the venture. He says a confidentiality agreement limits him from saying more.

RIPR FILE

Developer Joe Paolino says he’ll try again to bring table games to Newport. Voters approved turn the Newport Grand slot parlor into a casino, but Newporters voted it down. 

Massachusetts voters gave gambling there a thumbs up. And that will hurt the slot parlor, said Paolino “You know right now I’m more concerned about the workers, because the workers are the ones that really put up this fight, they’re very concerned about their jobs.”

Proponents pushed the jobs angle; while opponents said a casino didn’t fit in Newport.

Newport voter turnout, likely driven by the casino referendum at Newport Grand,  is high. That report comes from old friend and former great ProJo reporter Brian C. Jones.

As of 3:30 about 820 of the estimated 2,200 voters eligible to cast ballots at the city’s `Fifth Ward’ polling place at Rogers High School had voted. Election officials said that there have been a steady stream of voters all day.

As the late U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill  so famously said, ``All politics is local.’’

RIPR FILE

This Election Day Newport voters will decide whether table games like poker and blackjack will be allowed at Newport Grand slot parlor.  The issue has become divisive in the small waterfront city.

RIPR FILE

Newport residents defeated the expansion of table games like poker and blackjack at Newport Grand slot parlor two years ago.  But because casinos with table games are likely coming to southern Massachusetts, the issue is back on the ballot. 

This time however, a team of developers want to buy Newport Grand, and they have a plan to sweeten the pot, hoping to get approval.  As part of our Rhody Votes coverage Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender explains how the issue is dividing residents in this historic city by the sea.

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