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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

High rollers

Who would you put your money on? Only Roger Goodell knows for sure.

The commissioner of the National Football League holds the winning hand as Patriots owner Robert Kraft injects himself into the battle to site a casino in eastern Massachusetts. Against no less a pair of heavyweight contenders than Boston Mayor Tom Menino and House Speaker Robert DeLeo.

Given the NFL's seeming aversion to anything that smacks of gambling associated with its teams or league, it's hard to believe Kraft did not at least consult with Goodell and fellow owners about how they would view his plan to lease land across from Gillette Stadium to Las Vegas high roller Steve Wynn

Officially both sides are mum about the donnybrook that lies ahead.
“More competition is better for our state," DeLeo said in a prepared statement.
"Nothing has been presented to us concerning the specifics of any arrangement. If and when that occurs, we will evaluate the transaction under our policies," league spokesman Greg Aiello told the Globe in an e-mail.
You can only imagine what's going on behind the scenes.

Although the Globe notes there are casinos located near NFL stadiums in New Orleans, Pittsburgh and St. Louis, the league forced members of the Rooney family -- the equally powerful family that owns the Steelers -- to divest from the team because they owned race tracks. Can such a fate await the Kraft family?

Meanwhile there's the inside-outside tandem of DeLeo and Menino, with an incredible arsenal of political and legal tools at its disposal. That's why Menino's taunts about the traffic problems around Foxboro on game days sounds like nothing more than a pre-game warm-up.

Lost in all of this is the view of residents of East Boston, Winthrop and Foxboro, to name just three. But we expected that, didn't we?

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