Narragansett Indian Tribe of Rhode Island

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The Narragansett and their Las Vegas financial backer, Boyd Gaming, presented a new casino plan to lawmakers June 12, offering the state between about $150 million and $174 million annually, more than twice the amount in the last plan. The location was moved closer to an industrial park and farther from a neighborhood and an elementary school to accommodate some residents' concerns. "I think we've answered many valid concerns from the West Warwick community. They don't have to like casinos, but it looks like a win-win situation for everyone," said Paulla Dove-Jennings, a Narragansett tribal council member. The opposition wasn't impressed by the changes. Debate covered potential impact on everything from local taxes to crime and property values. West Warwick would get a minimum of $11.2 million for property taxes annually, and a share of slot revenues. The tribe needs statewide voter approval to build the casino. First the General Assembly must put the proposal on the November ballot. A recent University of Rhode Island survey found that more than eight in 10 residents want the issue to go to a referendum.