2014-10-30 / Community Blog

Word Play

To the Editor:

Newport Grand - “Fool me twice? Shame on me!” Shame on all of Newport!

The words have been changed to “sell the expansion of casino gambling to Newport voters”!  If you weren’t paying attention, you’d think you were actually getting a good deal.  

Newport Grand is currently being promoted by the developers as an “entertainment center,” not a “casino.” This clever word play with the voters of Newport is how politicians and developers sell “gambling” to people today!  (1) Entertainment Center = Casino.

Have you noticed that our RI constitution and referendum use the word “gaming” now instead of “gambling.” These “games of chance” (slots, table games, etc.) require many to lose, so that a few may win. (2) Gaming = Gambling.

Today we have a “slots parlor” at Newport Grand and not a “casino.” The addition of table games makes Newport Grand a “full blown casino,” and not until the voters of Newport approve this expansion.  (3.) Slots parlor does not equal casino!

(Fool me once!)  In the 70s, Newporters were “promised” a “civic center” if the voters of Newport allowed Newport Grand to become a jai alai fronton. Well that never happened. The “civic center” was to provide year round entertainment.

(Fool me twice?) So, when JobsForNewport or Newport Entertainment LLC advertises an “entertainment center” (casino) that will be built “if” they get the “table games” (gambling) what they really mean is that they are building a gambling casino with amenities to keep you at their establishment so that you won’t have to spend your money elsewhere in town! 

Disney provides “entertainment.”Casinos provide gambling!


No other form of “entertainment” causes significant harm to people who “enjoy” it frequently, including the loss of thousands of dollars per hour.

No other form of “entertainment” depends on profits generated by those who suffer from problems of addiction linked to the entertainment.

No other form of “entertainment” is often urged (and typically refuses) to provide information to those being entertained about its risks.

No other form of “entertainment” provides free alcohol to those being entertained with the express purpose of encouraging impulsivity, faulty cognition and reckless behavior. 

No other purported form of “entertainment” requires such high levels of taxation, regulation and government oversight when it constitutes a business as opposed to a private, small-scale activity; and, most regrettable of all:

No other form of “entertainment,” in recent times, is heavily promoted by government.

So Newport, “Fool me twice – shame on me”? Or all of us? Why would we invite this form of entertainment when we have such an abundance of year round entertainment in our community?  We have built our brand and reputation on providing this high quality “entertainment” for over 100 years!

Chip Leakas


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