HOT Stories more

Former Gov. Bob Miller challenges Elaine Wynn

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.

Check out our writersCheck out our writers

top stories

​Florida lawmakers are just about out of time to do anything except formally declare that an overhaul of the state’s gaming laws must wait until next year.

Dominant UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson defends his title tonight at UFC 186 against Kyoji Horiguchi on pay-per-view. However, he wasn’t always the main event.

The ex-wife of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steve Wynn lost her campaign for re-election to the board of Wynn Resorts Ltd.

​Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson did not surprise anyone, saying he’s confident  better times are ahead for the Macau and Cotai Strip casinos just off the Chinese mainland, but no, they have not arrived yet.

SugarHouse Casino will host its first-ever major poker tournament, poker superstar Phil Hellmuth, Jr., GT's Christina Lindley and hit television show “Poker Night in America,” all as part of the $100,000 Guaranteed Poker Showdown April 23-27, 2015. 

GamingToday subscription ad

GamingToday Race and Sports Futures

           Westgate Superbook  Stratosphere Sports Book  

                Wynn Sports Book  CG Technology