By PBN Staff
PROVIDENCE â€“ Casino gaming in the Bay State will likely negatively affect revenue for both Rhode Islandâ€™s casino operators and the state of Rhode Island itself, according to a new report from the R.I. Public Expenditure Council.
The RIPEC report â€“ Table Gaming in the Ocean State â€“ was released Wednesday and analyzed the current structure of gaming in the Ocean State as well as the effect gaming in Massachusetts will have on Rhode Islandâ€™s revenue.
â€śIt is clear that the state can no longer rely on gaming revenues to support the same share of government services once casinos open in Massachusetts,â€ť said the RIPEC report.
The report went on to add that lawmakers should examine proposed legislation to see whether bills provide the operators of Twin River and Newport Grant the â€śopportunity to meet the challenges of increased cross-border competition.â€ť
Currently, lottery revenue â€“ including games, Keno and video lottery terminals â€“ accounts for roughly 12 percent of the stateâ€™s general revenue, yet budget projections assume decreasing lottery receipts starting in 2015, based on the impact of Massachusetts casinos.
Rhode Island voters must pass a referendum this fall for the stateâ€™s two slot parlors - Twin River and Newport Grand â€“ to allow casino gaming.
â€śThe result of the referendum, and, specifically, the terms and conditions of the expansion will have far-reaching impacts on the stateâ€™s revenues and economy,â€ť said the RIPEC report. Both the citizens of Lincoln and Newport, as well as the state, must pass the referendum.
The RIPEC report insisted that Rhode Island take a proactive approach to its economic future.
â€śThe state can ill afford to jeopardize the survival of the two facilities by imposing an unsustainable effective tax rate that simply boosts revenues in the short-term, while ignoring long-term implications,â€ť said the report adding that â€śthoughtful actions taken by the state today will allow Rhode Island to direct its own future instead of reacting to events beyond its control.â€ť
For the full report, visit www.ripec.org.