Gambling to be Murphy’s Swan Song?
A day after confirming his plans to leave the rostrum after next year, House Speaker William J. Murphy is saying the General Assembly needs to “revisit” casino gambling.
He said he “would not be averse” to putting another referendum question on the 2010 ballot, asking voters whether they would allow full-scale gambling.
“We have to look at it,” he said.
During an interview with Buddy Cianci on WPRO-AM radio, Murphy, D-West Warwick, said he believes Rhode Island needs to pay close attention to what Massachusetts does on the gambling front, because any such move could make a huge dent in a major source of Rhode Island revenue.
He did not immediately specify whether he was talkiing about expanding the options at the state’s two existing slot parlors: Twin River and Newport Grand. Murphy was a chief backer of the failed 2006 ballot proposal to allow a Harrah’s-financed Narragansett Indian casino in his hometown of West Warwick.
Wonder if he has a future with a gambling interest in his plans?
This would tie in with Dan Yorke’s thesis: That Murphy has been holding off on calling the House back to avoid the House having to consider legislation that could be submitted by those who want dog racing back at Twin River. If that were to occur, it would muck up the ongoing Twin River bankruptcy proceedings (change the revenue stream picture, etc.) and also ruin the expansion plans (ie; full-fledged casino), which is something Murphy doesn’t want for personal and professional reasons. So, he’s stalled on calling the House back to “bring around” some of the dog-racing proponents and, hopefully, until after the bankruptcy proceedings are over.