Town debates pros and cons of casino project By John Bullham Many Brown students turn to traditional collegiate revelry to escape the pressures of academics. But as early as November 2000, gambling may be added to the options already available nearby for the fun-seeking, over-21 crowd at Brown.
The people of West Warwick, a town just 15 minutes outside of Providence, overwhelmingly support a proposal for the construction of a Narragansett Indian casino in their town.
After turning out at the polls in large numbers to vote in favor of a casino in a non-binding referendum earlier this summer, West Warwick residents have taken the next step toward establishing a gambling facility - on July 6, the West Warwick town council passed a resolution that supports placing the question of a casino on the legislative ballot in the November 2000 elections.
But according to State Rep. Timothy Williamson, sponsor of the bill in favor of the casino, there is still a long fight ahead for casino supporters.
Gov. Lincoln Almond has vowed to veto any legislation in favor of a casino. A two-thirds majority in both the Rhode Island House of Representatives and Senate would be needed to override the gubernatorial veto before a casino could be built in West Warwick.
"There certainly are big hurdles ahead of us," Williamson said.
According to Williamson, a casino would solve a number of West Warwick's economic troubles. The town suffers from a virtual lack of industry, as well as a stagnant tax base. There is a proportionally large number of elderly and working poor. And aside from the casino proposal, no viable solution to these economic woes has been found.
"Every possible economic problem a small town can have, we have," Williamson said. "When you drive around certain areas in West Warwick,