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EDITORIAL: Question #1, Expansion of Gambling is a Business Decision

Sunday, November 06, 2016

 

There are three major components to consider that are important to this decision to expand gambling in Rhode Island. Question 1 asks statewide voters and the residents of Tiverton to allow Twin River to move from Newport Grand to Tiverton and to expand the license from a slots parlor to a full service casino.

1) REVENUE 

Make no mistake about it - Rhode Island is “hooked” on revenue from gaming. The casinos and the lottery are sadly our state’s fifth largest revenue source and not easily replaced.

“In fiscal year 2015, video lottery terminals and table games at these facilities accounted for nearly three-quarters of the $867 million in state lottery revenues. $382 million of this revenue went to the state’s general fund, making the lottery the fifth largest source of revenue for the general fund,” according to a recently released report by Providence College.

Only federal grants, personal income tax, sales tax, and business tax are larger revenue sources  — we, as a state, are dependent on the revenue.

2) THE OPERATOR
 
All indications are Twin River’s operator is solid. John Taylor has been a leader in Rhode Island and the company is active in the community.

3) TIVERTON’S DECISION

Is Tiverton the right location is the final consideration. Twin River has strategically proposed locating the facility on the Fall River line — in part to decrease the market opportunity for competitive facilities in Massachusetts. 

For Rhode Island as a whole that may make sense, but Tiverton residents have a different consideration. Most people live in Tiverton because they want a simpler life — one that is a combination of farmland coupled with seaside. So a casino there seems perfect for us toiling in metro areas.

Tiverton residents have a far different decision to make than those outside their community. Specifically, they need to decide — does a gaming facility improve their community, enhance the value of their property, and make their lives better? 

Only Tiverton residents can answer those questions.

From a statewide consideration - GoLocal endorses Question #1. 

 

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