Gambling Halls and Casinos to Stay Open 24 Hours a Day

Published on: February 4, 2008 

In a bold move to improve the struggling economy of the state of Rhode Island, the Pawtucket Democratic representative, Mr. William San Bento proposed a new bill that would allow the casinos and gambling halls in Rhode Island to stay open for 24 hours, thus boosting the economy. His plan outlined the need for the revenue of the state to be improved by a dramatic $25 million per year and that using the casinos which are already a large source of income for the area was the only way to achieve this high goal.

The bill also mentions the introduction of more slot machines to the casinos to further boost earnings for the state. While this proposition has seen many people opposed to the idea, certain of the casinos like the Twin River have already started to plan for the expansion of trading hours. They are opting to open for 24 hours on Saturdays and Sundays and until 3am during the week. This, according to the casino, will mean a revenue increase of about $15 million. Of that amount 4 % will go to their host town of Lincoln. Spokesperson for Twin River, Jeff Neal, said that this decision to expand was not final yet.

While many believe that the other large casino in Rhode Island, the Newport Grand, is also looking at expanding, the Council of Newport was quick to state that they supported Representative Russel Jackson’s legislation that stated it would be “the expansion of gambling subject to statewide and local referenda”. Councilor McLaughlin was reported as says that if the casino expansion goes ahead they will want to request, and by law they have to, 24 hour liquor licenses, which the Newport Council could then refuse if they felt that the laws were not being adhered to and that they casino was being irresponsible in any way.

With a large portion of the state officials and public keen to improve the state’s revenue with the introduction of 24 hours gambling, the bill has yet to be passed and there are many people that are against the idea, fearing that it will cause more problems for the people of the host towns than good. There is no doubt that more money will be earned for the state, but many are asking if there is no other way this can be done.

The casinos that are willing to open for 24 hours have assured the public that every care will be taken with having 24 hour trading, including stricter and improved security measures, as well as more staff. This, they added, will also prove to help the people of the towns by offering more employment opportunities.

The proposed bill is set to come before a public hearing of the House Finance Committee on Thursday the 7th February 2008 and everyone is welcome to give testimony and to vote for the legislation which is being brought forth by Representative Jackson. This hearing will take place at Colony House at 4 pm.

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