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Adelson’s warnings repeated

Jan 28, 2003 4:45 AM

Massachusetts native Sheldon Adelson, who replaced the old Sands on the Las Vegas Strip with the grand Venetian Hotel-Resort-Casino, warned the Rhode Island gaming study committee to act before its neighbors to the north approves casino gambling.

That advice was repeated last week by a consulting firm representative, Speaking before the House Commission to Study Gaming, Allan Rachles, a partner in the firm of Crowe Chizek, extolled the benefits that a casino could mean for the state.

Placing a casino in West Warwick, a community that is on record as favoring gaming, the state could expect to see 6.8 million visitors annually with profits of about $683 million, a quarter of which would go to the state coffers.

Rachles was referring to a Native American casino to be owned by the Narragansett Indians and operated by Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. (HET). Like Adelson, he warned, that the commission would have to act before Masachusetts, also involved in studying the expansion of gaming, builds its first casino.

Of course, a Narragansett casino would take Adelson out of the picture since he said he would be interested in building a Las Vegas-styled casino only if there were no other casinos either in Rhode Island or Massachusetts.