.....Fall River continues casino talks with Mashpee Wampanoags.Is this article accurate?
By Will Richmond
Herald News Staff Reporter
Posted Feb 10, 2011 @ 10:52 AM
FALL RIVER — As the future of casino gambling in the commonwealth remains uncertain, city officials are closely watching similar discussions in Rhode Island.
During a meeting of the Fall River Office of Economic Development’s Board of Directors Thursday morning, FROED Executive Vice President Kenneth Fiola said the city remains in regular contact with the Mashpee Wampanoags about the development of a casino in the city. Fiola said he talked with tribal officials as recently as Monday.
Fiola informed the board that the tribe is looking at other locations in the city for a potential resort casino. He did not provide any specific locations.
He said using land within the recently agreed upon biopark is not an option, noting the location is protected against casino development through the legislation that led to the city acquiring the land and the current zoning of the land.
While the search for a new location continues, Fiola said the prospect of a casino in Fall River or any other SouthCoast locale could depend on the future of expanded gambling in the Ocean State.
“The biggest impact is what Rhode Island is going to do,” Fiola said.
The Associated Press Tuesday reported that Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has indicated a willingness to turn the Twin River slot parlor in Lincoln, R.I., into a full-scale casino.
Twin River owner UTGR Inc. released an economic impact study that day, claiming such a switch would create as many as 650 jobs and up to $60 million in revenue for the state and town.
Fiola told the board he has also read reports that Chafee and the Rhode Island legislature have reached an informal agreement to expand gaming at both Twin River and Newport Grand, which is located about 20 miles south of Fall River.
Fiola cautioned that such an expansion could cause developers to look for a less congested market.
“If that happens it will have a severe impact on the siting of a casino in Massachusetts,” Fiola said. “What it doesn’t impact, in my mind, is a casino being sited in Boston.”