Will the Newport Casino Get The Overhaul it Needs?
Competition is heating up in Massachusetts and if the Newport Grand wants to compete with other casinos, it will need an overhaul. The question is will the City Council in Newport and voters support this revamp?Developers Peter de Savary and Paul G. Roiff, together with the former providence Mayor Joseph Paolino, are hoping to purchase a slots parlor from longtime owner Diane Hurley and her partners. This slots parlor is located at the foot of the Pell Bridge.
The new owners are hoping to invest over $40 million in order to create a boutique casino which will also include a concert hall and a spa.
The hope is that this new Beaux Arts-style casino will attract tourists to Newport throughout the year.
The only roadblock in this deal is that table games such as roulette and blackjack are banned and it will require the approval of the City Council and voters to lift this ban. The benefits of this are that it will protect the jobs as well as the tax revenues from Newport Grand.
Voters might not see these benefits though and could have some strong arguments against gambling such as addiction. Also, voters could be concerned that a new casino could damage the character of downtown Newport.
Poalino stated that Twin River in Lincoln made the change and it did not negatively impact the community. He is also seeking a referendum which will tie the new casino to its current location of Admiral Kalbfus Road.
Newport Grand is currently losing business and with the new casinos emerging in Massachusetts and Connecticut, this could negatively impact the casino even further. In order for Newport to guarantee jobs and business in their area, they just might need to agree to lifting the ban on table games.