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Narragansett Tribe Against Governor Carcieri Over Casino and Virtual Blackjack Machines

On September 1st, 2007, the friction between Gov. Donald Carcieri and the Narragansett Indian Tribal head Sachem Matthew Thomas has again started the offensive against the Governor with the use of press releases.

Thomas, still upset with Carcieri's criticism last year of a casino facility in West Warwick that helped a vote to a two-one defeat, issued a press release this week calling the Governor a hypocrite for not blocking the virtual blackjack machines at the Twin River gambling establishment.

With Carcieri saying that he has no problems with virtual blackjack gaming or the twenty four hour casino operation of Twin River casino as long as town officials have no problem with it, Thomas commented that the governor is always showing his inconsistency on important matters.

In response to Narragansett head Thomas' statement, Carcieri spokesperson Jeff Neal issued a corresponding statement that states that the backers of Harrah's Entertainment are clearly dissatisfied that the residents of Rhode Island are against the planned casino for West Warwick.

But instead of working hard to win over voters, they are trying to fight with the governor and blame him for the result of the election. Neal also said that Gov. Carcieri is against any movement to change the Twin River casino into a full-blown casino.

He added that in the case of the virtual blackjack games, the Lottery department decided that it is no different from the video lottery terminals that are already operational in Lincoln and Newport. Neal said that if the virtual blackjack games will be found unlawful by a court, the governor will not support them.

Thomas said that Carcieri is probably taking advantage of his leadership of the Rhode Island Hospitality Association. The Association has led the efforts to block the casino that the Narragansett tribe hoped to build in West Warwick with Harrah's Entertainment.

Thomas also said that the owners of the Twin River casino, which is the main financial supporter of the Hospitality Association's "Save Our State" movement, are now pouring in money to the casino proposal of the Mashpee Wampanoag in Middleboro, Massachusetts.

Thomas said that the group is contradicting the message that they are saying that it is not okay to build a casino in Rhode Island but are supportive of the casino in Massachusetts.

Thomas said to Carcieri in the statement that if the Governor wishes to transform Twin River into a casino, let it go through the same channels like what the Narragansett Tribe is doing.


Sunday, September 23 , 2007
Kim Watson