During the 1940’s, when the Lincoln Downs racing track was constructed, area residents never dreamed that the place would cause them any problem. Mr. Hal Perry even built his ranch-style home facing the racing track down the hill. But 52 year-old Perry no longer sits in front of his porch every night.
The horse racing track was changed into a greyhound racing track and then in 1993, into a “racino”, a racing track with slot machines. By 2007, it became the Twin River Casino, as it opened a $225 million gaming expansion with 4,700 slot machines, an entertainment center and a parking area. But the 143-acre facility is line on all sides with residences.
Perry said that he can deal with the traffic and vehicle noise but what he is really bothered about is the lights coming from the property that is so bright that he can even read a book from his living room without turning his own light.
On June 28th, 2009, the group that owns the Twin River casino filed for bankruptcy and told the court that the survival of the casino depends on being allowed to open twenty-four hours a day and to eliminate its greyhound racing track.
The terms of the bankruptcy agreement for the Twin River owners, BLB Investors, were agreed upon by creditors and state Governor Donald L. Carcieri. Rhode Island is dependent on the 60.08% portion it gets from slot machines at the Twin River casino and a smaller racino in Newport.
Last year, that $289 million was the 3rd biggest source of revenue for Rhode Island. In 2006, state voters defeated a constitutional change to legalize casino table games and permit casinos without racing tracks.