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Newport Grand closing soon: City facing loss of casino revenues

“In the short run, we are cutting some expenses, but we’ll have to work to replace those revenues in the coming years.” “People might find the transition seamless, but residents will not be seeing any tax relief in the coming few years,” the mayor said. “Instead of seeing the street in front of your house paved next year, it might be three or four years away.” The city received a total of almost $1.01 million from Newport Grand in fiscal 2009 and has seen a general decline since then with some ups and downs. In fiscal 2018, which extended from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, the city received a total of $788,988. The city’s total video lottery terminal (VLT) revenue in fiscal year 2009 was $647,538 compared to $477,135 in fiscal 2018. All VLT revenue will be lost once Newport Grand closes. A video lottery terminal is a gaming machine that allows gamblers to bet on the outcome of a video game that is a random-number generator, like a traditional slot machine, except a VLT is connected to a centralized computer system. That allows the state lottery to monitor game play and collect its share of revenue, of which the local jurisdiction receives a percentage. The city received total Newport Grand taxes of $360,088 in fiscal 2009 and $311,853 in fiscal 2018. Almost of all that tax money is real estate tax, but a small percentage is so-called “tangible tax,” which is levied on furnishings and equipment. “We expect the taxes [on that property] to go down,” city Finance Director Laura Sitrin said. The city prepared for the annual revenue loss by making some adjustments in its general revenue budget of $97 million, which the City Council approved for the fiscal year that began July 1, Sitrin said.

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Women get high-paying union jobs building Massachusetts casinos

A carpenter gets to work at Encore Boston Harbor.  Man-Doherty is now the face of statewide initiative to recruit more women into the field, which has won her some local celebrity. "I went to drop my son off at a basketball camp. This guy walked by me and my friend and said, 'Hey you're from the billboards!'" she says. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has been instrumental in pushing gender diversity on new casino construction projects, issuing a legislative mandate for casinos to increase workforce diversity. It requires licensees to put women in 6.9 percent of the construction jobs, more than double the national average, and the commission has been tough about enforcing the mandate. "In order to make this work, you have to have a kicka-- champion, and you've got to kick these doors down," says Steve Crosby, Chairman of the Commission.

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