Tiverton’s Twin River Casino Under Threat From Massachusetts
Rhode Island has lost out to Massachusetts over its Pawtucket Red Sox – Triple-A baseball team and could also suffer a blow to its gaming industry if Rhode Island legislators do not pull their socks up in time and take a firm stance in preventing Massachusetts from eating into gambling doors from Rhode Island.
With Tiverton’s Twin River having just opened on September 1 and it appears that there is a movement underway to steal business from it as Massachusetts is currently attempting to muscle in on the state’s new casino. Annual revenues of tens of millions of dollars are on the line for Rhode Island.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, appears to be attempting to allow the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to open up a $1 billion casino in neighbouring Taunton despite the opposition of local residents and the federal government. Along with other members of Massachusetts's Democratic delegation, Warren is trying to pass a bill that will circumvent a prior court ruling along with Federal Department of the Interior who has authority over the location of such casinos.
Rhode Island Democratic Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse need make it clear to Rhode Islanders that they are going to represent Rhode Island residents and not other interests. They need to be proactive with their approach and make it clear that they will not allow the bill to pass. Unless senators be more vocal in their opposition, bills like the one being proposed become a quiet part of omnibus legislation.
Democratic Senators Must Be Clear
The two senators have been quick to react when it came to other issues but they have been silent on this issue so far. The two senators have come out and said that they oppose the bill but have not been very clear with their reasons for opposing the bill.
Senator Warren is considered a front-runner in the 2020 Democratic nomination but she has also met recent criticism for claiming that she is of Native American ancestry despite being unable to prove it. Many people believe that she is merely trying to make Native Americans happy by supporting the casino. It should also be noted that she was once a vocal opponent of casino gambling.
Casino gambling might not be the best way to develop economically but it does provide a lot of jobs for Rhode Islanders. It is the third largest revenue source of state tax. It took many years of planning to build Tiverton Casino and it is in the state’s best interests to have their representatives support them.