2014-10-30 / Community Blog

Casino Not the Solution to Economic Woes

To the Editor:                                                                                                                                      

Voting NO to casino expansion is saying YES to

●    New ideas and opportunities for diverse and better jobs for Newport County, such as those created by an Innovation Hub;

●    Fewer gambling-addicted residents and less crime and embezzlement;

●    A state legislature motivated to bring clean, good-paying jobs to Rhode Island – changing our business climate from worst to first – instead of taking an easy, short-term solution that is likely to have disastrous long-term implications;

●    Sustained prosperity for local businesses by removing unfair casino competition. 


If expanded gambling is voted in, the developers – because of their $40 million investment in the new “Monte Carlo”-type resort – will have to launch a huge advertising campaign to re-brand Newport as the casino resort destination.  This will eclipse all the reasons that have drawn people to Newport for generations: beaches and natural seaside beauty, unique shopping and dining experiences, sailing, history, music festivals, arts and architecture, U.S. Navy and the Naval War College, Salve University, and our wonderful quality of life.


Newporters have worked for too many decades to make and preserve historic Newport as the charming, beautiful, exciting place it is to have it all stolen from us by three people who do not have their roots here.


Otherwise, consider what a yes vote for casino expansion will mean.

●    The new proposed jobs will be filled by those recently laid off, experienced casino workers from neighboring states.

●    How many casinos are "Peter, Paul and Joe" operated?  We suspect that they are in the game to push the legislation through, develop the site, and line their pockets by flipping the casino to established, out-of-state casino operators.

●    A Newport Grand casino will suck money from local citizens.  The 2012  Christiansen Capital Advisors study prepared for the Rhode Island Department of Revenue shows that 76 percent of the income, $38.2 million in losses to gamblers, comes from people who live within 50 miles of Newport Grand.  Money that is not available to support our local jobs and businesses.

●    Regional casinos are failing because there is too much competition for a limited number of gamblers – simple supply and demand.  Desperate to protect their investment, the casino operators will be grasping for other revenue streams.

●    The state will determine the rules that govern the new "entertainment center," not our Zoning Board, allowing extended drinking hours and smoking.  We lose control.


Is gambling a real solution to our state’s economic woes, or are our politicians just kicking the can down a road that will put Rhode Island in worse economic straits than we are now?


Just vote NO to casino expansion and say YES to all the reasons that we love Newport!


Rick Grosvenor


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