Rhode Island Casino Plan Draws Criticism - Saturday 28th of January 2006

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island – As reported by Providence Journal: "The Carcieri administration's newly disclosed role in trying to persuade the owners of Newport Grand to remake their slot hall and the 28 acres that surround it into the anchor of a new 'destination resort' drew angry words yesterday from the chief sachem of the state's Narragansett Indians.

"Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas characterized the administration's efforts to persuade Newport Grand's Florida-based owners to 'think bigger' as evidence the governor has one set of standards for some out-of-state gambling interests, and another for his tribe's resort-casino drive.

"With Republican Governor Carcieri stating again yesterday his reasons for opposing the proposed Harrah's-Narragansett Indian casino in West Warwick, Thomas accused the governor of having 'negotiated the largest expansion of gaming in the state's history . . . without voter approval.'

"…His comments were prompted by Newport Grand's announcement on Friday that it is seeking bids from either new owners or new venture-partners who can pump more cash into what began as a $20-million expansion to accomodate 800 more video-slots and a new 90-room hotel and restaurants…"

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