Loveman boosts home state casino

Mar 25, 2003 5:24 AM

Like the salesmen insisted in Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, "You gotta know the territory." And no one will deny that Gary Loveman, CEO of Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. (HET) knows whereof he speaks when he addresses the subject of gaming in Massachusetts at a conference this week.

He’s expected to speak to the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties on the benefits that the Bay State could reap with the proper gaming legislation. As the leader of one of the largest gaming companies in the world, and as a resident of the Boston suburb of Wellesley, Loveman is in an ideal position to catalogue the benefits the state could accrue.

Prior to joining Harrah’s, Loveman was a Harvard professor. He held the post of Harrah’s chief operating officer until the beginning of this year when he succeeded Phil Satre as chief executive officer.

Of particular interest to Loveman is a bill filed by Bay State Sen. Joan Menard that calls for the state authorizing three commercial casinos and allowing the state’s one thoroughbred track, two greyhound tracks and one harness racing facility to install slot machines. Reportedly, Harrah’s has been discussing the purchase of Suffolk Downs the thoroughbred track that sits on some 200 acres on the city line between East Boston and Revere.

For the past few years, efforts have been made to establish a Native American casino that would be located in the southeast section of the state and operated by the Wampanoag Tribe. So far, the efforts lacked sufficient support.