Guess What Newport, RI Business Just Sold Anyway

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There was one deal the voters couldn’t actually stop.

Ever since Newport voters rejected a referendum on table games at Newport Grand, there’s been rumblings that the purchase was going through regardless, most likely with a less generous set of terms than if it had passed. Providence Business News reports that former Providence Mayor Joe Paolino Jr. has an agreement to purchase Newport Grand from owner Diane Hurley.

“They have some hurdles they have to get through, and I’m not going to comment any further,” he said.

The price the parties have agreed to and timetable for completing the transaction were not available. Hurley had left the office for the day and could not be reached for comment.

In 2014, Paolino and two partners had proposed buying Newport Grand and then spending approximately $40 million to improve the venue if voters approved adding table games. And while voters across the state approved the change to the slots parlor at the ballot in November, Newport voters rejected it.

In addition, it is not clear whether Paolino’s original partners Peter de Savary and Paul Roiff are a part of the pending deal.

So for all of the bluster of last fall’s campaign, where, in hindsight, both sides engaged in rampant hyperbole, it was really over a matter of whether Paolino would own Newport Grand with table games or without.

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast Gaming Correspondent

Tristan's just this guy, ya know?