Newport Grand Casino’s Future in Jeopardy?

It’s really too bad!

What’s too bad? – It’s too bad that the elite vacation spot called Newport, RI can’t see how the lack of table games and lack of inclusion in Newport Tourism will hurt the rest of the Ocean State in lost revenue. Yes, they’re listed in the tourism pamphlets and in the Newport tourism websites, but when they needed the same shot in the arm that Twin River received from table games, the answer from Newport was “No.”  It’s too bad that table games weren’t approved, much due to misleading information brought in by the opposition. It just feels like once you take that right over the bridge towards historic Newport, there looms Newport Grand off to the left, like the black sheep of the family.

And it is a family-owned business, not the typical huge conglomerate, like MGM or Caesars. Diane Hurley, chief executive and co-owner of Newport Grand, is trying keeping to keep her family business afloat. Hurley’s father opened the facility nearly 40 years ago as a venue for jai alai. On a tour of the cavernous slot parlor she greets her employees and many patrons by name. She never asked for permission to offer table games, until the prospect of casinos in Massachusetts forced her to reconsider.

And according to a UMass/Dartmouth study, almost twice as many Massachusetts residents visited Newport Grand than Rhode Islanders. Massachusetts residents made up more than half of all visitors to Newport Grand last year — almost double the number of Rhode Islanders waging bets at the local slot parlor. When those Mass patrons get their casinos, especially if the Mashpees finally succeed in getting their license, those numbers should drop dramatically.

Like I said, it’s really too bad!

That’s all for now



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