2014-09-11 / Opinion

Reddest of Red Flags

To the Editor:

Once again the gambling interests in Newport have taken a page from Greek mythology.

In 1976 the Trojan horse was jai alai. Hidden inside were simulcast wagering and slot machines. Neither had the approval of Newport voters, but by 1992 both had dropped out of the horse's belly and invaded the fronton.

The Trojan horse of 2014? “Jobs for Newport.” A more honest name would be "Casino for Newport" but in their campaign materials you do not see the words casino and gambling. And they rarely mention the newspeak term "gaming" or even “table games” which is the very issue we will be voting on. Why is that? Most companies proudly promote their product or service by name. That's not the case with this group. They call it other things: "Newport Grand Restoration Project," "Jobs for Newport," "Boutique Entertainment Center," etc. but they never call it what it will really be, a full-scale casino. As with Twin River, it will likely operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You don’t see that in their pamphlet either.

Apparently, they don't believe that the citizens have the right to know important details of this project, including the purchase price for Newport Grand. They need our blessing but are holding back information from us. This company is a vendor for the state of Rhode Island, providing the space and services for a state-owned gambling operation. The citizens are the state of Rhode Island. We have every right to know every detail regarding this proposal before casting our vote. The fact that the developers are not willing to provide this information speaks volumes to me and it raises the reddest of red flags. It’s insulting and makes me wonder what we’re in for if they ever do get to establish a casino in Newport.

Too much smoke, too many mirrors, curtains and false bottoms for this voter. I just can’t trust them with a full-scale casino license in my city. Mike Warner


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