Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wamanoag Indian casino investor Genting being investigated

Our neighbors at Middleboro Remembers have their eye on the Asian gambling syndicate bankrolling the Wampanoag lobbying efforts to establish themselves as casino kingpins in Massachusetts. 

They note that New York State's Racing & Wagering Board was investigating key officials with the huge Malaysian company that has jumped into the competition to build and operate a 'racino' at Aqueduct Raceway.  Genting, which is the Wampanoag's new financial backer, was accused of conflicts of interest and questionable dealings in similar deals in New York. We note "was accused" as the claims were dropped after a $1.5 million settlement was paid off to the complainant.  Of course, conflicts of interest and questionable dealings are misdemeanors compared with the fraud, corruption and other convictions associated with the casino lobbying of Wampanoag chief Glenn Marshall.

According to the Wampanoag leadership, Genting is willing to pony up some $350 million in cash  to fund the tribal government and casino operation.  That's a heck of a lot of wampum (a lot more than a $1.5 million pay-off) - one has to ask what they get in return?   If you think the answer is a way to funnel tax-free Massachusetts tax dollars back to their Malaysian corporate hideaway you're probably a winner.  If other state's and Genting ventures are an example, like the losers' dollars at their planned Wampanoag casino, the state and the rank and file tribe members will likely see very little of that money.

This also begs the question of how Asian gambling syndicate money can be legally used to lobby elected U.S. government officials.  Isn't foreign corporate money illegal in U.S. political campaigns?  Yet, the Wampanoag's and their lobbyists have been giving tens of thousands of dollars to their casino plan supports in the U.S. Congress (Sen. John Kerry and Rep. Bill Delahunt) and in the Massachusetts State House (Sen. Therese Murray and Gov. Deval Patrick).

It's time for a little sunshine on the Cape.