The pressure of competition for Connecticut Casinos continues to mount, as Rhode Island voters were asked to determine whether table games — such as blackjack and poker — should be allowed in the state’s two casinos, the Newport Grand and Twin River Casino, separately approved both in the state and in the municipalities where the facilities are located — Newport and Lincoln, respectively. State support was strong for passage of both measures, but while Lincoln residents overwhelmingly approved the measure for Twin River, Newport residents voted against table games at their local casino by an 8 percent margin.
Twin River expects to bring in a minimum of $18 million in additional revenue with the introduction of table games, said Patti Doyle, a representative for the casino. The games will be integrated by July 2013, she added with approximately 350 new jobs for Rhode Island, where the unemployment rate remains one of the nation’s highest at more than 10 percent.
Jean Marie Napolitano, a councilwoman from Newport, said “Obviously I was disappointed.” “I don’t know what to expect now in terms of the economy.” Newport businesses rely heavily on tourism, and many local owners were afraid of the effects increased gambling might have on the tourism industry.
In my opinion, I cannot see how Newport will compete. Over the next 3 years, Massachusetts will be adding it’s new gambling competition with 3 casinos, all with full casino gaming and resort types of amenities. The old Newport Jai Alai fronton can reinvent itself only so much and still stay in the relevant New England gambling circle without table games.
I hope for the best in Rhode Island. The more competition between casinos usually translates for a better experience and better gambling opportunities for the consumer.
That’s all for now. Remember to support our local businesses today on Small Business Saturday.
And as always, may all your flushes be royal.
PS – in related News, Check out the special promotions for Rhode Island residents at Mohegan Sun this weekend as they celebrate the Ocean State.