But in endorsing a yes vote, we urge caution in moving forward. The terms of the deal between the Narragansett Indians and Harrah’s casinos are not fully known. Once it’s made public, it’s up to the legislature, the attorney general, and the governor to scrutinize it with all diligence before pulling the trigger on the enabling legislation that would allow the deal to go forward.

It’s common knowledge that the State House is riddled with cronyism. It’s up to the state’s constitutional officers to hold the General Assembly’s feet to the fire in this deal to make sure the taint of corruption and narrow special interests can not penetrate it. Also of extreme importance will be establishing proper oversight: not only over the casino itself, but also over West Warwick town officials, whose lax regulation contributed to the dreadful Station fire.

Casino gambling offers Rhode Island an opportunity. Step one is to embrace it. Step two is to regulate it in order to maximize Rhode Island’s advantage.

Other ballot questions
The Phoenix recommends a “yes” vote on the following questions:
QUESTION 2 — Voting rights for freed felons
QUESTION 5 — Road and bridge construction ($88.5 million bond)
QUESTION 6 — Roger Williams Park Zoo improvements ($11 million bond)
QUESTION 9 — Affordable housing ($50 million bond) 

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