Updated March 25 at 6:26pm

Narragansetts call casino vote ‘unconstitutional’


NARRAGANSETT – The Narragansett Indian Tribe pushed forward in state Superior Court last week with its lawsuit calling the state’s referendum on Twin River “unconstitutional and vague,” according to the Westerly Sun.

On Friday, March 9, the tribe added a memo to its lawsuit – filed in Washington County Superior Court last September – which seeks to declare the legislation requiring the casino referendum unconstitutional.

Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas said the tribe just wants to make ensure that all parties are treated fairly and that the state follows the same rules the tribe was forced to adhere to.

The owners of Twin River had hoped to expand to become Rhode Island’s first fully operational casino. The tribe, which has been shot down for years in its attempts, wants the court to declare a November ballot question on the casino unconstitutional.

A proposal for a Narragansett tribal casino in 2006 was rejected by voters.

The tribe cited a lack of transparency on the part of the state and said that Rhode Island voters would be left in the dark about critical terms regarding the implementation of table games.

The Tribe, represented by law firm of Pannone, Lopes, Devereaux & West, will continue to argue the case before Judge Melanie Wilk Thunberg in Washington County Superior Court.


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