Sunday, November 04, 2007

Newport Gambling

The two House Democratic candidates - Cicilline & Carlin are on Ch. 18 at various times to answer questions from "Daily News" managing editor - Sheila Mullowney (someday I'll post my top 10 hints for candidate t.v. appearances). Watch it. A number of topics are covered. Or check the "Daily News" for a quick version (use their "Elections" link)

One quick part of the discussion was gambling expansion - although Cicilline accepted campaign funds from the Newport casino PAC -kudos to Carlin for actually reading these reports- both are against (Cicilline is on the Board of Dir. for anti-casinoites). Carlin won't take their money. But neither said why. And of course, the moderator didn't ask as the Snooze is adamantly against gambling expansion although they've profited quite handsomely from it themselves.

Let's see, you can go to the slot parlor & bet on horses, & sporting events - yes, I admit to being a loser on a "sure shot" for the Kentucky Derby. You can spend the day with slots & now "virtual blackjack" has gotten the okay. "Virtual" means you see a buxom Bavarian cutie on the screen dealing cards. The State Lottery will also sell you gaming tickets at any grocery/quickie stop store.

Newport is so far down the gambling slippery slope that it can reach out & touch bottom. So why don't we actually EMPLOY people & having gaming tables? It may well bring more $ into the casino, city, & state. It may well bring in more area tourists.

As for 24 hrs. gambling, more of the same. And just because the casinos MAY do this, does NOT mean that they will find it profitable to do so. In times of huge state defeceits, it's going to be difficult for the Lege to turn their backs on this one. They COULD also decide that since Newport has a monopoly (along with Lincoln), that they could/should be a tad more interested in the state as a whole. Of course, Newport does quite well with all the extra monies it receives - no wonder other communities would like the same.

Legislation was intro'd this yr. to lessen Newport's take (Hey, take THAT, Newport). And while the question of adding casinos across that State was turned down last yr., that is no indication of future votes - esp. when the Guv keeps enacting cuts.

I do believe that Newport should be allowed to vote on the expansion of hours to 24 hr. gambling - but this could well be used as a bargaining chip in Lege casino expansion talk. And there's always the possibility that eventually our Native Americans will be able to open their own parlor on their lands (take THAT, Rhode Island).

I've been to Vegas (yuck) with a THRIVING economy - lots 0f good Union jobs. I remember when a casino was first proposed here & what the nay-sayers said - dropping of property values, organized crime, drugs & prositution run rampant, etc., etc. And none of it happened. Not one thing. It proved to be a boon to the city which shifted from a jobs/business/Navy economy to a service economy. Newport & the rest of the State (inc. this District) would be in dire straits without it. Is it not worth keeping viable with so much competition springing up all around us?

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