Anti-casino group reelects Father McKenna; will oppose efforts to support new gambling

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MIDDLETOWN —?Father Eugene J. McKenna, pastor of St. Lucy Church, has been reelected president of Citizens Concerned About Casino Gambling (CCACG), the non-partisan, volunteer Rhode Island organization that has been on the forefront of casino gambling in the state since 1977.

In accepting another term as CCACG president, Father McKenna said, “Casino gambling is an issue that won’t go away, no matter how many times the people of Rhode Island vote against it. Unfortunately, there is a group with the General Assembly that is addicted to the expansion of gambling as are the gamblers — many of them poor and elderly — who waste their limited resources in the vain hope of getting something for nothing.”

The priest said CCACG would publicize the positions of legislators on casino gambling, as well as on such related issues as allowing Twin Rivers and Newport Grand, the state’s two video slot machine halls, to remain open 24 hours and to expand into new kinds of gambling such as electronic blackjack tables.

“We intend to oppose candidates who support the expansion of gambling,”?Father McKenna said, “and to help candidates who oppose more gambling, no matter which party they belong to.”

As a first step, he said CCACG’s expanded Web site, www.nocasino.com., will post their opposition to the positions of state senators and representatives so that their constituents can learn where they stand and how they vote.

“It will not be easy to defeat the new proposals to expand gambling in the state, but we have beaten them before and we will do so again,” Father McKenna said.

Elected to serve with Father McKenna as officers of the 30-year-old organization are Nancy Corkery, vice president; David Wixted, secretary; Peter McOsker, treasurer; and Donald Booth, assistant treasurer.