Are Better Days Ahead for Newport Grand?

Let me reiterate my previous opinion on Rhode Island’s Casinos:

  • Twin River needs a hotel
  • Twin River needs Class III gaming in slots, not it’s lottery driven VLT slots.

Newport Grand Renderings



There could be good news ahead for Newport Grand. I reported the future sale in a previous post on May 5th “Is Newport Grand in RI Ready For A Change?”

It seems things are moving along with possible changes, which has pro and anti Newport Gambling factions getting excited all over again.

First, Newport Mayor Harry Winthrop said Wednesday the city would benefit financially if table games were approved for Newport Grand.  However, in November of 2012, Newport Grand tables games was defeated by 53.8 percent of Newport voters.

Winthrop mentioned that existing slot revenues to the city have decreased almost by half over the past eight years and that former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino’s proposal would net Newport $750,000 in permit fees in addition to the taxes collected by the city with a boutique [casino/resort] establishment in the vein of Monte Carlo. Part of Paolino’s proposal includes a high-end restaurant and converting some of the space into an entertainment center, as can be seen in the rendering above.  This was all presented in and interview In an interview on WPRO Morning News with Gene Valicenti

Paolino and developers Peter de Savary and Paul Roiff pronounced they’ve sealed an agreement to buy a slots parlor from longtime owners Diane S. Hurley and her partners.

De Savary, who led a British group for a America’s Cup Challenge in 1983, pronounced he and his partners design to win voter approval, presumably as early as November.  “The final time, it was really badly presented,” he said. “Misinformation was put out by some radicals.”

Members of the group Citizens Concerned About Casino Gambling are voicing their opposition.  Miss-information and scare tactics worked for the last referendum.  In  an effort to be fair, I suggest you go to their website.  It’s packed with anti-casino propaganda, complete with “facts” about casino gambling – some of which hold some truth.  And it includes a neat little poem and quotes from the good nuns at St. Joseph’s and the Christian Brothers at De La Salle.

In my opinion, a casino ala Monte Carlo fits perfectly with the high-brow summer resort town of Newport, complete with the yachts, the mansions and the beautiful sites – all away from the other side of town where instead of seeing an eyesore, you see something different from the usual slot palace.

And, for those of you with ethical questions about it’s presence, it’s simple – turn left off the bridge for the new casino, turn right to beautiful downtown, cultural Newport.


That’s all for now.