Worth the gamble?

By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  December 16, 2009

But a "Carcieri fix" could create problems for the tribe, too — clearing the way for Cape Cod's Mashpee Wampanoag tribe to build a competing casino in nearby Middleborough, Massachusetts.

Moreover, if Rhode Island's Congressional delegation has its way, the Dorgan bill will include a special provision protecting the right of Ocean State voters to have the final say on casino gambling. And Whittlesey says Rhode Island's representatives may, indeed, have their way.

"The state has a well-respected and popular delegation," he says. "I would suspect that those are voices that would be heard."

If they are, the decision on a question that is shaping up to be among the most controversial and consequential of the new year would once again land in the laps of the voters: a weary and skeptical bunch, eager for an economic revival and unsure about how to get one.

David Scharfenberg can be reached at dscharfenberg@phx.com.

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