Rhode Island Newport Grand Casino Amendment, Question 2 (2012)

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Question 2
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Rhode Island Constitution
Referred by:Rhode Island General Assembly

The Rhode Island Newport Grand Casino Amendment, also known as Question 2, was a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the November 6, 2012 ballot in the state of Rhode Island, where it was approved.

The measure authorized casino games at Newport Grand. The measure was similar to the other casino amendment, also on the ballot, that authorized casino games at Twin River. The measure was considered in 2012 state legislative session.[1]

Election results

See also: 2012 ballot measure election results

The following are official election results:

Rhode Island Question 2 (2012)
Approveda Yes 267,819 66.5%

Results via: The Rhode Island State Board of Elections.

Text of measure

Ballot language

The ballot language that voters saw on the ballot reads:[2]

Shall an act be approved which would authorize the facility known as “Newport Grand” in the city of Newport to add state-operated casino gaming, such as table games, to the types of gambling it offers?[3]


  • State Senator Juan Pichardo stated support by saying: "Someday Rhode Island will wake up and we'll have casinos all around us. Now we just have to hope this (referendum) gets approved."[4]
  • Diane Hurley, Newport Grand’s chief executive and co-owner, stated: "Acquiring table games is essential for our long-term survival. Newport itself is in danger because those casinos have the ability to give away what is the revenue source for Newport. That would be hotels, restaurants, shopping."[5]


Related legislation

State Senator Harold Metts stated in March 2012 that he was sponsoring legislation to allocate revenue raked in by casinos to fund schools in the state.[6]


Path to the ballot

Section 1 of Article 14 of the Rhode Island Constitution says that the Rhode Island General Assembly can initiate the process of amendment "by a roll call vote of a majority of the members elected to each house."

According to reports, the measure was introduced on February 14, 2012.[7]

On February 29, 2012, the House Finance Committee endorsed putting the question on the ballot, sending the proposal to the full chamber for a vote. The state house then voted to approve the measure with a tally of 69 to 3, sending it to the Rhode Island State Senate for a similar vote.[8][9]

Senate action

According to reports in March 2012, the Rhode Island State Senate planned to amend the bill to mandate that a study commissioned by Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee's office be conducted. This would meet a requirement in the casino bill that says that the state should "conduct an extensive analysis and evaluation of competitive casino gambling operations."[10]

Then on April 4, 2012, the state senate voted 35-2 to place the measure on the ballot. After the Rhode Island House of Representatives voted to approve the amendments made to the bill, the measure then was then sent to Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee for his signature, which is needed for ballot access in November 2012.[4][11]

On Wednesday, April 11, 2012, Gov. Chafee signed the legislation, thus moving the measure on to this year's ballot.[12]

See also

External links

Additional reading