LINCOLN — A Town Council forum on the expansion of Twin River into table gaming drew some concerns over the proposal Thursday evening but overall proved a favorable showcase of the casino's revenue contributions to state and local budgets.
The plus side included projections that 100 of Twin River's 900 jobs are held by local residents and another 800 by Rhode Islanders overall, and also a forecast that the expansion will create 350 new in-house jobs along with 300 others in supporting businesses.
Among the concerns were complaints over traffic impacts on neighboring properties and a lack of state funding for the treatment of gambling addictions. A longtime Twin River opponent and candidate for General Assembly, John Cullen, also lodged an objection to the proposal during his time at the microphone.
The forum in Town Council Chambers at Lincoln Town Hall included a presentation of Twin River's expansion plan by its chairman, John Taylor, and also a question-and-answer period with public comment.
About 100 people attended the session including local residents and officials and a number of Twin River employees and/or supporters.
Town Council President Keith E Macksoud said the forum was called by the panel to provide local taxpayers with "factual information so that they can make informed decsions on the Nov. 6 ballot questions regarding the expansion of gambling in the state of Rhode Island and more specifically in the town of Lincoln."
After presenting the evening's format, Macksoud said the council had agreed not to take a position on the issue and to instead "gather and share information and an effort to assist residents in making informed decisions."
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