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Letter: Paolino Casino Plan for Newport Grand is An Opportunity

"This change admittedly is not a panacea to remedy all the state’s, or even city’s, job issues," writes Stephen Cronin. "But, it’s one step in a series of other coordinated steps to address Rhode Island’s ailing job and economy problems. "

Photo Courtesy: Newport Collaborative Architects
Photo Courtesy: Newport Collaborative Architects

The following is a letter to the editor:

Rhode Island, once again, has an opportunity to address its greatest need, jobs and the economy. 

A group of investors, led by local entrepreneur Joseph Paolino, has presented an offer to purchase and upgrade the Newport Grand Slots venue. This is contingent upon the state and city of Newport allowing the new owners to add table games.

This change admittedly is not a panacea to remedy all the state’s, or even city’s, job issues.   But, it’s one step in a series of other coordinated steps to address Rhode Island’s ailing job and economy problems. 

The consequences of kicking this can off the bridge are clear, another lost opportunity to address the state’s most critical issues.  The anticipated consequences of the status quo at Newport Grand are credible: an immediate loss of anticipated jobs in construction, gaming and hospitality associated with the upgrade of venue;  loss of potential tax revenue from new table games;  and jeopardizing existing tax revenues from the Newport Grand Slots caused by a decline in patronage from the pending opening of a full gaming facility in either Fall River or one of the other, nearby, proposed Massachusetts gaming sites.

While we can continue to debate the merits and pitfalls of gaming in Rhode Island, we will, by default, preserve the highest unemployment rate in the country, witness dwindling tax revenues which perpetuate the ongoing erosion of the state’s infrastructure and its educational system, especially in the urban areas, pleading for investment.

Mr Paolino wants to build, as he’s described, a “first class, boutique, gaming destination compatible with the rest of the Newport community”.  

Let’s get it done so we can aggressively and collaboratively move on to the next challenge to fix this beautiful state.  Rhode Islanders deserve nothing less. 

CCAMI May 27, 2014 at 06:57 PM
Do you think moral grounds should dictate what's right for the city? Quote from councilman Justin Mcloughlin. "It's people who oppose casino gaming on moral grounds"
RL May 27, 2014 at 07:25 PM
There are many good arguments against this and from what I see most are economic, including mine. However, if someone has a moral argument against it they have every right to air their opinion, just like you and I have the right to air ours. Since when is it not allowed to express an opinion based on morals?
RL May 27, 2014 at 07:30 PM
The name is McLaughlin and he has every right to belong to a non profit organization that does not accept money from or gives money to the city or state. It isn't a company that does business with the city or state.

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