For Newport Casino, It’s Deja Vu All Over Again

Newport Image

The Beauty of Newport’s Mansions

In effort to stave off the effects of increased gambling in Massachusetts, the General Assembly last month approved several measures concerning Twin River Casino in the final days of the 2014 legislative session, especially the one that will allow Twin River to issue lines of credits  of up to $50,000 per patron.

Now it’s Newport’s turn, only successful gaming expansion has eluded this elite resort city.

Yes, Newport. Yahoo describes it below. Sit back, close your eyes and just let your mind wander…..

“Newport, nicknamed “America’s First Resort,” is a place out of a picture book, distinct for its polished yacht fleets, rose-coloured sunsets, and long-time association with America’s fine and fabulous. The Kennedys were married here (Jackie was a local girl); and during his presidency Eisenhower spent time here at the Naval War College, which continues to introduce a uniformed presence to the lively streets. Tourists come today for the opulent fin-de-siècle mansions that line Bellevue Avenue – huge tree-lined estates and ornate palaces, former summer homes of the likes of the Astors and Vanderbilts….”


Oh, yes back to my posting……

Gov. Lincoln Chafee sealed into law last Thursday legislation sanctioning a referendum to let electorate confirm in Nov on Newport Grand’s renewed casino drive, basically supporting the idea that a casino would work if authorized by electorate statewide and in Newport.

The battle could be different this time.  The threat from Massachusetts was just starting to get the Ocean State’s attention, and the last referendum results for table games in Newport later became suspect.  At the time, the anti-casino tactics came under fire after the referendum due to their “facts” not being consistently true – more like a WWII propaganda experience.  But now, the situation seems different. How?  Here’s how:

  1. The onslaught has already begun – in Plainville, just over the border, Penn Gaming says it’s going on with construction and plans for it’s slots only casino at Plainridge Raceway. That opening, if allowed, will be only a year away.
  2. The expansion in Mass includes a southeast Casino/Resort, with Foxwoods the sole application, but recently the Mass Gaming Commission pushed back the application process for the Southeast to entice more applications – another direct competitor to Twin River and Newport.
  3. Addition of revenue WITH the existence Mass casinos isn’t the issue anymore – it’s lost revenue and lost jobs to Rhode Island residents.  Trying to keep up with the Jone’s up north and east is now a do or die situation.
  4. WITHOUT Massachusetts expansion, it now becomes an open window, no – an open barn door, for revenue from frustrated Massachusetts patrons.  However, without the expansion, Rhode Island still may be tested by the sovereignty of the Mashpee Wampanoags, if they ever get federal and local recognition.
Newport Grand Slots

Newport Grand Slots

I see the addition suggested by Newport Grand financier Joseph Paolino, which in a previous post I outlined his plans for a Monte Carlo style casino to fit with the Newport area, a positive concerning additional jobs and lower taxes for Newport residents.

November is becoming an important month for New England residents, with referendums in Massachusetts and Rhode Island affecting CT, NH, and Maine.

Where’s my Magic 8 Ball when I need it.  When I dig up my old Ouija Board, I’ll let you know what the outlook will be.  Until then, like you, I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens.


That’s all for now.