Former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino has been a stalwart booster of Buddy Cianci’s redemption tour. But now that Cianci has filed for election for Providence mayor and Charles Mansolillo has been appointed Cianci’s campaign manager, Paolino is turning his political attention to Newport, where he is part of a group that wants to buy and improve the Newport Grand gambling emporium.
(Rhode Island being Rhode Island, Paolino and Mansolillo are well-acquainted; the two ran against each other for mayor in 1986 in a campaign won comfortably by Paolino).
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.
Rhode Island’s gaming industry may get a major boost. Massachusetts residents will decide if they want to get rid of all casino gambling in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts casinos would pose direct competition to the Ocean State’s gaming revenue.
Two casinos have already been approved in Massachusetts: a resort-style in Springfield and a slot parlor in Plainville. The slot parlor would be fewer than twenty miles from Rhode Island’s Twin River casino in Lincoln. But the new ruling could allow Commonwealth voters to stop that project dead in its tracks.
Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, a Republican candidate for governor, joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss his plan for beating rival GOP candidate Ken Block; his opposition to Rhode Island's proposed pension settlement; the impact of Massachusetts gambling on Twin River; and Myrth York's endorsement for Gina Raimondo.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted Friday to green-light a slot parlor in nearby Plainville, Massachusetts -- a scenario that would threaten to siphon customers from Rhode Island's most lucrative gambling entity, the Twin River casino in Lincoln.
In an interview, John E. Taylor Jr., Twin River's chairman and CEO, says he expects the slot parlor would cut Twin River's $290 million in annual revenue for the state by about 10 percent.