May 25, 2006

Casino Question

Carroll Andrew Morse

The Rhode Island House has reduced the debate surrounding amending the state constitution to allow gambling to “Should the state use a no-bid deal to determine the operator of the monopoly mega-casino that it wants to create in West Warwick?” versus “Should the state use competitive bidding to determine the operator of the monopoly mega-casino that it wants to create in West Warwick?”.

The question unasked and unanswered is “If there is to be casino gambling in Rhode Island, why does it have to be in the form of a monopoly mega-casino in West Warwick?”.

If there are people who believe that gambling is a legitimate way to raise revenue and improve the quality of life in Rhode Island, then why aren’t we deliberating simply legalizing gambling? Using the power of government to prevent all but one corporation from operating a casino in Rhode Island certainly benefits mega-casino operators like Harrah’s or Trump, but it is not at all clear that it benefits the people of Rhode Island (save for those people with vested interests in one of the mega-operators).

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Stop asking intelligent questions. You're gonna screw up my huge kickback...err...I mean CONSULTING FEE. Yeah. Consulting fee. That sounds good.

Posted by: [A Parody of] Tim Williamson at May 25, 2006 4:33 PM

I'm guessing that Jan Jones is one of those people who hasn't heard the word "no" too often in her life.
The only people who win in this whole Harrah's proposal are the insiders (lawyers, consultants, lobbyists, bond counsel, etc.), not the taxpaters of R.I. I don't have moral qualms against a casino, but I've heard too many politicians rhapsodize about it the way a crackhead does about his next fix.
If Pennsylvania can get 52 percent of the casino take, why should we settle for 25?

Posted by: rhody at May 26, 2006 12:06 AM

we have not agreed on any terms, so 25 cents on the dollar isnt even up to the General Assembly. They will have no leverage if this is approved. As Rep Trillo said last night: "Vote now, ask questions later."

Posted by: Robert in Smithfield at May 26, 2006 9:22 AM

Which proves the folly of the deal. The state constitution should not be brought into any plot to enrich Harrah's and the insiders I mentioned above.
I have the feeling when all is said and done that we end up closer to 25 percent than 52 - I don't trust the majority of the Assembly to say no to Glam Jan or their former colleagues pulling 5K a month as whores for this project.

Posted by: Rhody at May 26, 2006 4:11 PM

Dear Rhody,

You may not like the explanations but since you asked, they should be offered:

1.) In RI, unlike everywhere else, only the State can run a lottery. However, every business in the world knows the state doesn't really want to. This gives them leverage.

2.) By having Jai-Alai and Lincoln deals on the table, this helps set our other deal back.

Posted by: Bobby Oliveira at May 26, 2006 6:07 PM

I think that having a casino in R.I. would mean more jobs. I think the politicians put to much of our taxpaying money back into their pockets. That's why alot of people go hungry and are homeless. So I think having a casino is a great idea. If we all work together then we can all profit from it.

Posted by: Julie Reall at June 2, 2006 9:35 PM