A bill passed by both houses of the Rhode Island legislature which would allow full casino gambling at the state’s two slot parlors won’t make it to the voters, as a deadline to override the Governor’s veto passed today. Governor Donald Carcieri had refused to cooperate with a bill expanding gambling, and the lawmakers had to bypass the veto by today to have the measure placed on the ballot this year.
The new law would allow the operation of table games, including blackjack and roulette, to the selection of gambling provided at the racinos.
The Twin River slot parlor is already in bankruptcy, and the Newport Grand facility is struggling financially, as the state places an onerous tax burden on the gaming houses. Carcieri helped change rules which forced the two erstwhile dog tracks to meet minimum hours of live racing, as the racing was losing money, but the chunk given to the state is substantially greater than greyhound losses.
Carcieri also denies his own constituents the right to decide the issue for themselves. Because the expansion of gambling requires a constitutional amendment, the ultimate fate of the bill would have been decided in the general election.
With table gaming denied for more than a year at best, the future of the Rhode Island gambling houses is in question. OCA gambling analyst Sherman Bradley says the state’s greed, combined with its intransigence over admitting new casino games, may cost it the multi-million-dollar golden goose.
Published on August 10, 2010 by MattMiller