At one time, the Plainridge Racecourse was considered a decided favorite to receive the single slots license to be granted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Factored in was the political strength behind the track’s founder, Gary T. Piontkowski, once the chairman of the state’s racing commission.
Then the bottom fell out when Piontkowski suddenly resigned his position with the racetrack, suggesting he wanted to spend more time with his family. Speculation was he might have been feeling the effects of ill-health.
But the bombshell exploded last month with the announcement by the new management of the track that during his tenure as track head Piontkowski had withdrawn funds from the track’s money room. Rather than press charges, the new owners, operating under the business name of Ourway Realty LLC, said it regarded the missing funds as compensation to Piontkowski whose role as president was given to company president John Grogan.
The activity by the track’s former president was fully investigated by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which announced through its chairman, Stephen Crosby, that Plainridge was being disqualified from consideration for the slots license.
“The commission has determined that Ourway Realty LLC has failed to meet its burden of proof, particularly as to the business practices and the business ability of the applicant to establish and maintain a successful gaming establishment,” the report said.
Ray Poirier is the longtime executive editor at GamingToday.
Contact Ray at [email protected].