HOT Stories more

Amaya Gaming Group raided by federal police

Article

$3m Mass. lobbying effort fails

January 24, 2011 4:45 PM by Ray Poirier

Suffolk DownsSuffolk Downs, the real-estate rich thoroughbred race track that is just a stone’s throw from Boston’s Logan Airport, wants a casino license and didn’t hesitate to spend a big chuck of money to let people know just how important it would be to the area’s economy.

Owner Sterling Suffolk Racecourse spent upwards of $850,000 in its fruitless effort to convince Massachusetts lawmakers that it would be in their best interests to pass casino legislation.

The company wasn’t alone in the effort. According to a review by the Associated Press, more than $3 million was spent in lobbying efforts in 2010. That is up from $2.5 million in 2009.

Unfortunately for the casino interests, legislative leaders couldn’t agree with Gov. Deval Patrick that the commonwealth would be better off just having three or four casinos and no so-called racinos.

Although some lawmakers favored slot machines for Suffolk Downs, as well as for Wonderland Park, and Raynham Park, a pair of closed greyhound racing facilities, and Plainridge, a harness track in the western part of the state, Suffolk Downs wanted a full-fledge casino.

With 163 acres available on popular Route 1A, Suffolk could accommodate a Las Vegas-styled resort casino with a hotel and retail facilities adjoining.

And, the construction and operation of such a complex would mean jobs, say Suffolk Downs leaders.

"Along with others seeking to increase jobs and growth in this business sector," said Bill Mulrow, chairman of Suffolk’s board, "we worked this past year to educate the public about the economic and fiscal benefits of resort-style casino and the figures released today show that commitment."

Suffolk Downs wasn’t alone in its lobbying efforts. Sheldon Adelson, a former Massachusetts businessman, plunked down some $180,000 to show his interest in a casino license for his Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Another firm called Las Vegas-based Development Associates LLC spent $315,000 while the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe shelled out more than $155,000 in its lobbying efforts.

Although casino gambling has not yet surfaced on any legislative agenda, it is expected to emerge once again sometime during the current legislative session. That’s when the lobbyists will find out how well they spent their money.

GamingToday Race and Sports Futures

           Westgate Superbook  Stratosphere Sports Book  

                Wynn Sports Book  CG Technology

top stories

A financial assistance package for Atlantic City's eight casinos and for the city's municipal finances is making its way through the state legislature.

Work on the City Center tower stopped about halfway in 2008, after inspectors found steel used on the first 26 stories wouldn't support the remaining 22 floors.

 

Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget casino dropped a threat to file a lawsuit blocking a package of tax relief for Atlantic City’s eight casinos. The casino’s general counsel said that proposed changes to a tax bill  should be enough to protect it.

The State of California may soon have online poker! It will be legal and regulated. The U.S. Department of Justice recently changed its policies regarding online poker.

Real Deals | Get the best deals in Las Vegas! Downtown, Aliante, El Cortez, South Point and Boyd properties are all featured this week.

GamingToday subscription ad