B-Day Casino Article

Introduced by Helio Melo.
It would be Twin River only. The operator versus the state’s take would be decided by the legislature next year.
Brian Newberry states support for a Casino in principle, but has concerns about this article. Because of Federal law, if RI opens itself up to “Class 3” gaming, than Indian tribes gain certain rights with regards to Class 3 gaming.
Newberry begins to discuss the 195 land. John Carnavale raises a point of order, saying it’s not relevant. Fox upholds the point of order.
Peter Petrarca says anyone could have come to the Finance Committee meeting and heard the content of this bill.
Rene Menard says we have has to pass this to help our pahtnah make money and raise revenue for the state.
Joe Trillo says the place for a casino is Quonset.
Mike Chippendale says 50% of the language in this new — it hasn’t been seen by the Reps before. And why are we going to put on the ballot what been on the ballot 4 times before and never won?
Helio Melo: You didn’t get the bill an hour-and-a-half ago, you got it a couple of hours ago. And the only reason we’re voting on this late in the night is because you insisted on debating other bills.
William San Bento asks for no more debate tonight. Not passing this would be stupid.
Michael Marcello: My constituents oppose this.
Lisa Baldelli-Hunt: An incremenal approach won’t work. We need to build a destination resort, with a coherent plan. We are puting something before the voters, without giving them the information that they need. Plus we need a plan that we are absolutely sure is constitutional.
Pat Morgan: She wants to vote for this, but expresses concern about the interaction of this law and Federal Indian gaming law and what it might enable the Narragansetts to do.
Peter Palumbo: Quotes B. Cianci as saying “Rhode Island will get into the casino business when it is no longer profitable”, and doesn’t want to see that happen.
Peter Martin: Why do we have to vote tonight on something that won’t be voted on until 2012? And we need a better answer than predatory gambling to our fiscal problems.
Nicholas Mattiello: We need to protect our 3rd largest revenue source from competition from Massachusetts. And the referendum changes the Constitution.
Brian Newberry expresses concerns about unintended consequences with this bill.
Charlene Lima says the job of the legislature isn’t to protect Twin River or the state’s “partners”; it’s to protect the taxpayers.
J. Russell Jackson supports the bill because it is equitable to Newport, despite his reservations about gambling in general.
The Article passes, 62-9.

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11 years ago

“we have has to pass this to help our pahthah make money and raise revenue for the state.”
And this is how a state sponsored monopoly is born.
Helloooo? RFP? Public bid process? Licensing fee?
The whole idea of gambling revenue is bad. Expanding it with a casino is worse. So the GA has compounded a repugnant initiative with a repulsive (and probably illegal) implementation process.

11 years ago

“Helio Melo: You didn’t get the bill an hour-and-a-half ago, you got it a couple of hours ago.”
Ooohh! Two hours ago. Well, that’s okay, then …
“Helio Melo: … And the only reason we’re voting on this late in the night is because you insisted on debating other bills.”
Rep Chipendale, if you and the other House members had just rubber-stamped everything else in this, the biggest and most important bill of the session, we could have had the casino debate nice and early and all gone home in time for dinner. But, if you’re going to insist on doing your job and having a robust debate on these critical matters …

11 years ago

Why on earth would anyone want to stick a full-on destination casino in the middle of nowhere, so one community can simultaneously be ruined and have full tax relief? Wouldn’t it make sense to build one or convert something downtown to a high-end, medium-capacity, dress-code-only casino, then leave Twin River as slots for the proles?
It just seems to me that downtown Providence could really -use- a casino to drive business in the area, and Providence already has the facilities (parking, roads, lots of police, a ‘downtown cleanup squad’) to support this kind of activity.
So here’s my vision:
Leave Twin River as-is, or allow some table games.
Build a ‘destination’, medium-capacity casino where the Providence Police HQ used to be (or nearby), and make it a high-rollers kind of place with dress code, limousine shuttles from Newport, the airport, hotels, and maybe Boston. Keep the place ‘exclusive’ and cater to folks who want to come here for a riff-raff free experience. That crowd shouldn’t put too much ‘bad’ load on Providence, and it will drive a tremendous amount of business towards the existing night-life culture there.

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