NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) -- Voters across Rhode Island overwhelmingly approved the addition of table games to Twin River, and Lincoln residents coincided. A similar measure for Newport Grand was also approved statewide, but voters in Newport did not want table games in their city, ultimately killing the plan.
Rows of video slot machines have been the major attraction at Newport Grand for years, and after Election Day, this fact will remain true. Newport residents have rejected the idea of expanded gambling, which left some business owners concerned.
"You're taking away an opportunity for people to come to Newport, especially when you're seasonal," said Swaze Armstrong, owner of Mudville Pub. "Obviously people come down in the summer for the water, the yachting, and the sailing, and the great island and town that it is, and now there's no place for people to go gambling."
It was a completely different story at Twin River in Lincoln, where locals easily accepted table games being implemented there. With Massachusetts soon to have full-fledged casinos, Newport Grand now seems to be the odd casino out.
Armstrong tells Eyewitness News that the decision will have implications beyond just the slot parlor itself.
"People do it anyway, whether it's legal or illegal," he said. "Why not keep the money in the town?"
Newport Grand's CEO refused to comment Wednesday about the casino's plans for the future.
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