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Study: Massachusetts Slots Would Hurt Rhode Island Tracks

21 February 2005

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island – As reported by the Providence Journal: "If Massachusetts puts video slot machines in its racetracks near the Rhode Island border, Lincoln Park and Newport Grand would stand to lose about $100 million a year, which in turn would cost the state over $60 million.

"That is one of the findings of a report on New England casino gambling released Wednesday by the Center for Policy Analysis at the University of Massachusetts,Dartmouth.

"Professor Clyde Barrow, director of the center, who conducted a study of casino gambling for the Rhode Island Senate a year ago, said in the report that, 'The two southeastern Massachusetts tracks will likely cannibalize Rhode Island's slot parlor revenues upwards of $100 million.'

"Barrow contends that whatever Massachusetts decides to do about gambling in the near future would have an effect on both Rhode Island and Connecticut, where the resort casinos Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are located.

"…Barrow noted if Massachusetts approves slots at its four race tracks and one or more resort casinos, 'New England's gaming climate and competitive structure will change overnight, bringing intense competition' to both the Connecticut resort casinos and Rhode Island slot parlors.

"…'Assuming Massachusetts approves slots at the tracks,' the report says, 'one way that Rhode Island can attempt to lessen its expected revenue loss to Massachusetts is for both Lincoln Park and Newport Grand to be developed into full-blown resort casinos, matching the hotels, restaurants, entertainment, convention, and meetings amenities that are a staple of southeastern Connecticut's resort casinos.'…"

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