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Council Supports Newport Grand's Request for Table Games Referendum

The Newport City Council voted to receive the casino's request for a referendum.

The voted unanimously Wednesday to receive 's request for a referendum on . Dozens of the casino’s employees attended the meeting and met the decision with enthusiastic applause.

CEO Diane Hurley wrote a letter to the City Council detailing the benefits of adding table games for not only the casino itself, but for local revenues.

“We have concluded that adding table games to our gaming offering presents the best possible option for Newport Grand to be able to continue to be a significant local employer and tax revenue generator,” the letter said.

In the letter, Hurley requested that the City Council consider a resolution that would put the question about adding table games to vote by referendum by the citizens of Newport.

For the question to get on the ballot, the City Council and City of Newport has to ask and vote for a resolution. If the resolution passes, the General Assembly will take up the question of whether it will go on the ballot in November.

The imminent larger-scale casinos in Massachusetts are a very real threat to Newport Grand’s business, said the several employees who spoke to the council Wednesday night.

“The threat of Massachusetts having full-fledged casinos is scary,” one employee said.

Newport Grand currently hosts more than 1,000 slot machines and virtual blackjack, which uses digital dealer.

“I’m going to vote for this because I think the people have the right to decide,” Councilor Kathryn Leonard said. She said the only issue that would need to be addressed is the additional traffic a larger casino would attract.

Councilor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano also expressed her support, saying the decision was not solely for the City Council to make, but for the community as a whole.

“This is not a decision for seven people,” she said. “This is a decision for 27,000.”

Gordon January 27, 2012 at 01:54 AM
I am not sure it is the role of our elected officials to look for opportunities to tax the stupid even thought that often seems to be the focus of their revenue generating plans.
nptresident January 27, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Gambling is here to stay. Face it. If you don't like it, don 't go. But don't put a place out of business that provides jobs and could potentially provide even more jobs. Gambling is a reality. What else could go into that behemoth!
ctt January 27, 2012 at 02:07 PM
With all these great answer to everyones problems Gordon should run for world leader. First, I choose not to go to casinos,that being said according to Gordon if you go into these establishments your "stupid". So doing something within your leagal rights and your stupid. Great platform. If people have'nt noticed, it's already a casino,granted only slots. You can tell because newport and the towns around it have turned into deserted wastelands.According to Gordons "logic" we should then get rid of all motor vehicles because we know, if you break a traffic law and get caught you will get a fine or have to go to traffic court.I'm sure nobody has ever gone over the posted speed limits and I'm sure everyone has come to a full and complete stop at every stop sign. So to alleviate these problems git rid of all motor vehicles. It comes down to each individual having their own self-restraint. So Pete is the massive, ugly building with "SLOTS'' across the front and the wonderfull site of the transfer station before you turn onto the off ramp considered "highly regarded destination of historic value, natural beauty'' how about the low income housing just steps away from the historic bellvue avenue? Your right we should get rid of everything that does'nt appeal to the "point" or the south end of town. Hili already has video blackjack tables, if they get the tables they want that means they need to create more jobs, another 40,50 people working, that wouldn't help the unemployed.
ctt January 27, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Well after checking my closet and finding it empty I'm going to tell everyone what they should do .I've been doing some thinking and maybe all the "no" table people are right, if this passes, Aquidneck Island and maybe Jamestown will turn into a post-apocaliptic wasteland with only zombies, drug dealers and their junkies,prostitutes, and the mob running the whole island. Doubt it. I know what way I'm voting. Historic Newport, ''the playground for the rich'' will be just fine.
peter January 28, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Let me just clarify: when I mention historic Newport, I speak not of the playground of the New York rich socialites, but of the value of this city as a vision of how our country was founded. As for the wealth that still comes because of mansions, hotels, sailing, etc- it also buoys the economy here. Do not forget that the related costs to the city resulting from full casino gambling is found time and again to outweigh the benefits and few jobs created.

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