January 24, 2009

Suddenly, the Casino Rears its Ugly Head Again

Monique Chartier

I didn't support a full fledged casino when proposed with the facade of ownership by the Narragansett, for whom it is difficult not to have some sympathy. Why would I support it when 100% of the post-operator revenue would go to a government that, through the politically motivated actions of its elected officials, has been fiscally irresponsible for the last couple of decades?

State Sen. John J. Tassoni Jr. is proposing an amendment to the state Constitution to allow full-scale casino gambling at both Twin River and Newport Grand.

With a crucial deadline looming for Twin River to pull itself back from the brink of bankruptcy, House Speaker William. J. Murphy yesterday said state leaders are at a point where they need to consider all options, including a state buyout of the Lincoln dog track and slot parlor, to "protect'' the state's anticipated $246.8-million share of the slot revenue from there.

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Government has no business operating businesses, especially not ones like casinos.

Posted by: thinkaboutit at January 24, 2009 9:28 AM

Well, here's a no-brainer NO vote.

Posted by: jay at January 24, 2009 10:26 AM

Sure Sen. John J. Tassoni Jr. wants the state to take over. Council 94 wants more state employees to boots its revenue stream.

Posted by: Phil at January 24, 2009 11:29 AM

I fear Sen. Tassoni is taking advantage of the bad economic times. I knew this proposal would come, held up as our only hope.

His district is quite close to Twin River, and will certainly feel the increase in traffic, particularly along Rt. 7. I too wonder if Sen. Tassoni is representing his employer or his district.

Posted by: mikeinRI at January 24, 2009 4:15 PM

I still don't understand why the state can't find a buyer for Twin River. It's an attractive property in the sense that it generates an operating profit (it's the debt service from the overzealous expansion that's killing the former owners).
I agree the state shouldn't be in the casino business, but if there's anyone in our state government with an iota of marketing acumen, finding a buyer shouldn't be a problem.

Posted by: rhody at January 24, 2009 5:10 PM

Well, that's right, Rhody. There must be alternatives.

Including, by the way, buying it at the fire sale that seems more and more likely and then finding a new operator - for the current, unexpanded activities. Business shouldn't be affected; in fact, business would probably pick up due to curiosity.

Posted by: Monique at January 24, 2009 8:08 PM
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