Gov Vetoes Casino Bill
… pointing out that the bill lacks critical financial information, especially as to the state’s take, and questioning why the bill by-passes the right of the proposed host communities (Lincoln and Newport) to hold their own referenda on the matter.
Now, it passed the House with an apparent veto-proof majority of 62-12. The Senate is more problematic. The margin was closer (21-14). Moreover, leadership of that body may prove to be a hindrance. The Senate President has indicated that she is not particularly amenable to reconvening the Senate, both because, as Justin highlights, she’s just really looking forward to enjoying the summer and, more seriously, the community that she represents, one of the two proposed host communities, has reservations about becoming a destination city for a casino.
The other factor that shouldn’t be overlooked here is the margin (wide) by which all other casino referenda in Rhode Island were voted down. Will this add to the reluctance of lawmakers in an election year to override the veto and put what would be, judging from prior elections, an unpopular item on the ballot? Or will this be overcome by the pressure from Massachusetts, poised to authorize – what, one? three? just let us know if your community wants one? – X number of casinos, regardless of the fact that Rhode Island would not pick up 100% of that “lost” revenue even if it did install two casinos and, a poor harbinger for potential casinos in both Mass and RI, the fact that gaming revenue in Connecticut is down?