Casino Wars Looming Between Rhode Island and Massachusetts - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

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Casino Wars Looming Between Rhode Island and Massachusetts

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Fall River is looking at its waterfront as a possible location for a resort casino.

And the struggling New Harbor Mall off Highway 24 is another option, and there's more.

"From our perspective we still have six viable locations that would be able to accommodate gaming," said Kenneth Fiola, Director of Economic Development for Fall River.

Foxwoods had looked to partner on the Fall River deal, but for now has bowed out.

The city wants more bidders.

"They're going to invest more than 500 million in the community. They are going to create two–thousand jobs. This city's going to stand to receive millions of dollars annual community host fees. That's something you have to take a look at seriously," Fiola said.

Fall River wants the state gaming commission to extend the deadline, so more casino companies apply.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter said, "The location of a Fall River Casino is seen as critical, including this possible site. Because whatever site is chosen will ultimately be just a stones throw from the Rhode Island State Line.

"We do have an eye on what they are doing in Fall River, because Fall River and Taunton could put a lot of people out of work in Newport,” said Joe Paolino, one of the investors trying to buy Newport Grand slot in Rhode Island.

Paolino and his partners want to spend millions to buy and renovate the Newport Grand slot parlor, but only if voters approve full casino table games like Twin River Casino.

And Paolino wants to beat Fall River to the punch.

"I agree, that I think the first one that gets in is going to be in a better position. But we also have something they don't have. We do have Newport and that's a brand in itself, but we do have to get going right away,” Paolino said.

The General Assembly must still approve the gaming initiative first, with state and Newport voters to cast ballots in November.
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