RI casino referendum passes legislative panel

A proposal to ask Rhode Island voters to approve a full-fledged casino at Newport Grand has passed its first legislative hurdle.

The House Finance Committee on Wednesday endorsed putting the ballot question before voters. If the full General Assembly agrees, the referendum will appear on the November ballot.

The slot parlor wants to offer table games such as poker and blackjack at its facility to compete with casinos authorized in Massachusetts.

Supporters of expanded gambling say Rhode Island will lose revenue if it doesn’t compete with its neighboring state, which authorized casinos last year.

The General Assembly has already scheduled a November referendum on casino games at the Twin River slot parlor in Lincoln.

The state Constitution requires casino referendums to pass statewide and in the facility’s host community.

Article source: http://www2.turnto10.com/news/2012/feb/29/4/ri-casino-proposal-heads-legislative-review-ar-948413/

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