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Gaming interests spent big in Massachusetts

Gaming interests have donated nearly $1.5 million to state lawmakers and have paid $8.2 million in lobbyist salaries, according to a report from Common Cause Massachusetts.

The Role of Money in the Campaign to Expand Legalized Gambling in Massachusetts looked at campaign contributions between 2002 abd 2007 and lobbyist salaries between 1998 and 2007. The biggest expenditures -- $63,000 to state lawmakers and $1.5 million on lobbyists -- came in the last year.

Gaming interests ramped up their spending in hopes of persuading lawmakers to approve commercial gaming. But the House voted down the plan earlier this year.

The Mashpee Wampanaoag Tribe and the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe also made contributions and hired lobbyists during these years. The Mashpee spent $654,620 on lobbyists while the .Aquinnah spent $360,396, according to the report. Campaign contributions were in much smaller amounts.

Get the Story:
Report: State lawmakers cash in on gambling business (The New Bedford Standard-Times 5/29)