History

TIMELINE FOR GAMBLING AT NEWPORT GRAND

  • 1973 State voted to amend Constitution to lift the ban on state run lotteries Article 6 Section 15 and the State Lottery Commission was created
  • 1977 CCACG was formed to fight a casino proposal that was eventually rejected by the City Council 5-2
  • 1980 CCACG worked to defeat a casino on Goat Island proposed by Leonard Souza
  • 1991 CCACG helped defeat a non-binding referendum that supported simulcast racing. Vote later ignored by GA and Lottery Commission. There was no local vote in spite of Rep. Bruce Long’s appeal that the GA comply with the law regarding expansion of gambling.
  • 1992 Video slot machines (VLTs) installed at Jai Alai and Lincoln Park
  • 1992 Lottery Commission approved a 52% increase in VLTs at Jai Alai and Lincoln Park. Rep. Christine Callahan again appealed to the GA to obey law the that required voter approval but was ignored.
  • 1992 Lottery Commission installed Keno machines in establishments without GA or voter approval.
  • 1994 Statewide approval for a constitutional amendment requiring a referendum to approve any expansion of types of gambling in the State. Must be approved by both the State and the host community. Vote was more than 2-1 in favor.
  • 1995 Voters rejected all 5 referenda on the ballot each calling for approval of a casino in 5 different communities.
  • 1996 Lottery Commission held a public hearing on a proposal for more VLTs at Newport Grand. Opposition was loud and clear. Support only from employees.
  • 1996 City Council resolution #107 opposing gambling expansion in state
  • 1998 City Council resolution #59 opposing GA gambling legislation S259,S2584,H8392,H7766
  • 1999 City Council resolution #53 opposed West Warwick gambling plan and endorses amendment to State law changing minimum gambling age from 18 to 21.
  • 1999 Lottery Commission met with out open public discussion and voted 5-4 to increase VLTs
  • 1999 City Council resolution #62 directing that revenue from additional slots that were authorized by the Lottery Commission be used to reduce debt service on Thompson Middle School.
  • 2000 City Council resolution to support H7026 which would increase Newport’s share from Newport Grand from 1% to2%
  • 2000 City Council resolution #63 opposing West Warwick casino proposal
  • 2003 City Council resolution #17 opposing the addition of 525 new VLTs at Newport Grand and supporting increasing the City’s share from 1% to 2%
  • 2003 The sport of Jai Alai, the only type of gambling ever approved of by Newport voters is eliminated.
  • 2004 GA approved a referenda for a casino in West Warwick partnered by Harrahs and the Narragansett Indian tribe (even though expressly prohibited by the Constitution).
  • 2004 City Council resolution #57 opposing the West Warwick casino
  • 2005 State Supreme Court declared 2004 referenda unconstitutional
  • 2006 Harrah’s gained passage of legislation to change the State Constitution to allow the casino in West Warwick. It was rejected by 63% of the voters in spite of a $17.8 million ad campaign. Newport County rejected it by 73%.
  • 2006 City Council resolution #106 opposing constitutional amendment re: West Warwick casino
  • 2007 State Superior court ( Judge Melanie Wilk Thunberg) ruled against the City of Newport in favor on Newport Grand in the suit regarding City zoning control over the use of casino gambling. She ruled that “the state has the sole authority to regulate gambling at Newport Grand “…and that “the City is powerless to make such an intrusion”.
  • 2007 City Council resolution #125 opposing the plan to increase the # of VLTs at Newport Grand in addition to expanding the hours of operation to 24/7
  • 2009 City Council resolution #56 opposing proposal to expand gambling
  • 2010 GA votes to spend up to 3.76 milion a year marketing Twin River and Newport Grand
  • 2010 Joint resolution to amend Constitution Article 6. Voted in House 62-12 in favor and Senate 21-14 in favor. Vetoed by Gov. Carcierei. Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed spoke passionately against the resolution.
  • 2012 GA approved referendum for table games at Twin River and Newport Grand. Referenda passed Statewide and in Lincoln but failed in Newport 54-46%
  • 2014 November 5, 2014  Newport Grand pro-gaming referendum was defeated by a resounding margin, 57 percent to 43 percent, in what anti-gambling voters called a David vs. Goliath battle.

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