Local News
Eyewitness Sports
Medical Coverage
Call For Action
More Details
What's On WPRI
What's On Fox
2 Minute Test Drive
Experts Online
Online Store
Chopper 12
Station Info

MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | People Search | Personals | Travel | Yellow Pages  December 26, 2004
Education | House & Home | Money | Pets | Recipes | Relationships | What's Next | More Topics...
Carcieri seeks legal opinion on casino referendum
Email to a Friend Printer Friendly Version  

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Gov. Don Carcieri is taking his fight against a proposed West Warwick casino to the state Supreme Court.

On Friday, Carcieri asked the high court for an advisory opinion on the constitutionality of a casino referendum measure approved by the General Assembly.

Carcieri vetoed a bill asking voters whether Harrah's Entertainment should be allowed to build a casino in West Warwick. The Democratic-controlled legislature is expected to return from a recess to override the Republican governor's veto.

Carcieri questions whether the referendum violates the Rhode Island Constitution by allowing a casino to be operated by someone other than the state.

The governor raised the same objection when he vetoed the bill earlier this month. At the time, state Rep. Timothy Williamson, a West Warwick Democrat who is a leading casino supporter, said he thought the governor was stretching the language of the constitution, which refers to lotteries.

Gambling facilities in Lincoln and Newport are currently overseen by the state Lottery Commission and privately owned.

Under the legislation passed by the General Assembly, the casino would also be regulated by the state, and owned by Harrah's Entertainment.

Carcieri spokesman Jeff Neal said that while Rhode Island's current gambling facilities are privately owned, the state operates the video slot machines in both businesses.

The proposed casino would be regulated by the state but the video slot machines would be controlled by Harrah's.

David Yas, an attorney and editor of Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly, said that since no casino currently exists in Rhode Island and the constitution explicitly uses the word lottery, "it would be a little unusual to expect that a document such as that would cover something like a casino."

The constitution makes no mention of casinos, but states that "all lotteries shall be prohibited ... except lotteries operated by the state."

Carcieri says the state's high court has determined that a casino is a "lottery operation and facility."

Attorney General Patrick Lynch said Friday while the governor has a right to consult the Supreme Court, it may be the wrong time to ask for an advisory opinion.

"The legislation has not yet been finalized and could undergo changes that would remove the constitutional cloud to which the governor refers, he said.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Local News
Shooting in Attleboro
Eyewitness News RSS Feeds
Try the very latest way to read Eyewitness News headlines. Never miss an important story!
State extends health-care deal as appeal goes on
Lincoln Mall, South County lose power from storms
Cargo-less barge sinks off Conanicut Island
Health Dept. has FluMist clinics statewide
Rhody Milk may go to quarts soon
Woonsocket Head Start program gets federal funds
Two indicted following drug trafficking investigation
Reed is Disappointed with Amont of Funds
National News  more» 
U.S. to increase funding to remove unexploded bombs in Laos
Police break up protest vigil at church slated for closure
US Airways passengers, baggage stranded for fourth day
Bush expresses condolences to earthquake, tidal wave victims, promises relief help
N.C. man offers water from the cup of The King on eBay
Comair recovering from holiday problems
Snow on tap
Freed actor misses flight from Pakistan
Computer glitch cancels Comair flights; US Airways loses luggage

Top 10 Honeymoon Spots
Looking for a sexy place to celebrate your love? Here are our ten favorite lovin' locales on planet earth.
Are You Suffering from Chronic Pain?
Learn more about treatment options and a free information kit.
Send questions and comments about this website to the .
All content © Copyright 2004 WorldNow, WPRI, WNAC and Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.