Monday, March 1, 2010

Placing their bets

The moneyed interests are pouring dollars into the campaign bank accounts of Massachusetts politicians as the latest push to legalize casinos is about to ramp up. The Associated Press reports that, "The amount spent by firms, unions and interest groups hoping to influence the gambling debate has grown from just more than $800,000 in 2006 to more than $2 million in 2009..."

The story says that Suffolk Downs spent $336,000 on lobbyists last year, and Las Vegas casino owners Sands ($122,500) and Harrah's ($60,000) also greased the wheels of democracy with fistfuls of cash. All of these out-of-state interests (Suffolk Downs is owned by developer Richard Fields) stand to make hundreds of millions of dollars if they can get their hands on a piece of the casino pie. That is cash taken out of circulation here and spent on yachts, mansions, and caviar by those already at the top of the heap.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo has indicated that he will introduce legislation on legalizing casino gambling within the next two weeks.

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