R.I. judge declines to block casino referendum

By News Staff

news@abc6.com

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A judge in Rhode Island has ruled that referendums seeking voter approval for table games at the Newport Grand and Twin River slot parlors may appear on the November ballot.

Friday's ruling from Superior Court Judge Melanie Thunberg is a victory for the two gambling facilities, which want to offer games like poker and blackjack to compete with casinos authorized in Massachusetts.

The Narragansett Indian Tribe filed the lawsuit last year to block this fall's ballot questions, saying they are vague and unconstitutional.

The tribe's own casino proposal was rejected by voters in 2006.

The state Constitution requires casino proposals to be approved by voters statewide and in the host community.

Tribal leaders could not be reached late Friday.