January 10, 2012

Trillo's Flawed Government Theory

Justin Katz

I don't relish the observation, but it seems to me that Rep. Joe Trillo (R, Warwick) is displaying an unhealthy political philosophy in his quest for a Quonset casino:

"It would have to be bigger than Foxwoods, bigger than Mohegan Sun, otherwise it's not going to work," he said. "To just go with a regional casino, it won't be able to compete."

Trillo also envisioned a scenario in which a single operator would buy and run the privately-owned Twin River and Newport Grand, and the new Quonset Point casino. Asked if he had been approached by anyone interested in making such a major investment while the Mohegan Sun struggles financially, Trillo said an emphatic no: "I have purposely stayed away from any casino operators."

It's well and good, if true, that Trillo is avoiding the corrupting influence of those whose money would be necessary to make his vision a reality, but of itself, a vision of such scope and specificity is not an appropriate basis for government action. It isn't the job of elected officials to decide what sort of business on what sort of scale for what sort of market their area ought to have and then go about developing it.

Government should stick to ensuring that the marketplace remains competitive, broadly, and that its policies are not hindering the people from pursuing activities that, within limited boundaries of order and cultural integrity, they believe will be profitable and beneficial.

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Rep. Trillo went on and on about not spending tax dollars on infrastructure but talked about high speed ferries to Providence and Newport. I can only assume he expects the unknown casino owner to build them. Not happening. Casinos want their guests to be.

1. On the casino floor
2. On the casino floor
3. On the casino floor
4. Eating in the building
5. Seeing a show in the building
6. Sleeping in the building
7. Shopping in the building.
8. On the casino floor.

Watch 2 hours of shows on TLC, Discovery, etc about casinos and you'll learn the ultimate design should be called the Hotel California. They want you to check in but never leave.

Providence and Newport restaurants and entertainment venues would be wiped out.

PPAC, gone
Trinity, gone
The Dunk, gone

RI government is addicted to gambling revenue. This would be the crack version.

Posted by: Phil Hirons, Jr. at January 10, 2012 10:37 AM

Trillo's statements aside, Phil, if MA puts in a destination casino on RI's border, PPAC, Trinity and the Dunk could be wiped out anyway. Is it better that RI receives the fallout or MA?

Posted by: Patrick at January 10, 2012 10:53 AM

I'm a big fan of voluntary forms of taxation through state lotteries and the like (i.e., "the stupid tax"), but casinos (private or public) are too risky an investment for government because there is far too much investment and infrastructure required, and they can result in any number of unknown local effects and unintended consequences. To think that the central planners can hash out all these details in some room and make a wise decision through foresight is fantasy.

Posted by: Dan at January 10, 2012 10:57 AM

RI needs a casino in Quonset like a hole in the head.

We need businesses locating in Quonset that build things - not businesses that suck the money out of our own resident's pockets.

No one - I repeat no one - is going to build a destination casino in RI bigger than Foxwoods. That would be a fool's errand - especially now that Florida is considering allowing destination casinos. Where would you rather fly into for a romp - Quonset or Miami Beach? Just saying...

The ultimate problem is that a large chunk of RI's gambling dollars come from Mass - where they will be building new casinos. RI IS going to lose gambling revenue - there is no way around it. Letting Twin River AND Newport Grand put in table games will not stop the loss. Many gamblers are convenience gamblers who will travel the shortest distance to lose their money.

Not to mention the issue of the Narragansett Indians and their ability to build their own casino (which will also compete for our gambling dollars) if RI allows a casino to go into any venue.

It was a nice run while it lasted, but regional competition is going to eat away at our gambling revenues. I would hope that our elected officials do more to prepare RI for this eventuality by making our state more appetizing to businesses which produce things to make up for the inevitable revenue loss in gambling dollars.

Posted by: Ken Block at January 10, 2012 11:34 AM

"It was a nice run while it lasted, but regional competition is going to eat away at our gambling revenues."

I can actually agree on something from the vile Anti-Christian bigot far-left faux "Moderate" party Politburo head.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at January 10, 2012 6:12 PM

The government should not have a gambling monopoly. It should not depend on gambling revenues at all or be involved in gambling at all.

Anybody who wants to have a slot parlor or any other gambling venue should be able to do so,other than the government.

Posted by: helen at January 11, 2012 10:59 PM

Ken Block,

Having lived in Tampa, Florida for a while when my husband was in the military,I'd pick Quonset over Miami any day. It's just better here as far as tolerable climate, no really creepy critters like horribly poisonous snakes and spiders,easier to get around in,just plain better. When we go to the beach,we don't have to look out for scorpions. I sure saw lots of them on the beach down there,for example.

Those are quality of life issues that can't be ignored. Better here. It is.

Posted by: helen at January 11, 2012 11:13 PM

Kudos to Rep. Trillo. He recognizes that the world is changing, and that if you want to attract people from afar you need to do things the right way and in the right magnitude. In a short time, Massachusetts has attracted major -- world class -- casino operators. Meanwhile RI closes its eyes and bickers about where the little water slide should go, and wonders why the state economy slides deeper into a bottomless hole.

Posted by: Bill at January 11, 2012 11:17 PM

Hey,ken Block,you know what we really need? Freedom.

You are still so entwined with Government crap. We need freedom.

Posted by: helen at January 11, 2012 11:40 PM
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