CEO Club Briefing


Excerpt from remarks to Boston College’s Chief Executives’ Club of Boston 

February 14, 2012


The intellectual ancestry of casino regulation was to keep the bad guys out. So casino regulators in Nevada in the 1940s, including, later, people like Harry Reid, who was the head of the gaming commission years later, their job was to keep the bad guys out. And I think they did a spectacular job at that. The bad guys all went out.

Now the challenge [for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission] is, how do you strike a balance to keep the industry in a fashion that you and your colleagues would be proud of, and at the same time, foster innovation and encourage the good guys to get in? And in a competitive, more mature business, you have to have both. You have to discourage anyone who has ill deeds afoot, and at the same time not make it so overwhelmingly difficult that people who have capital or skills to bring to the industry are discouraged.

I think among our jurisdictions, Nevada and Mississippi are the two that I think strike that balance best. Nevada because it sees its own interest as being so connected to the industry that it advances its agenda technologically. It’s the first to authorize new technologies in the games, things like mobile platforms for sports betting. It has the first platform for Internet gaming, which is another part of the future of the industry. And Mississippi, because they have a history of seeing the combination of business and regulatory posture, I think, in a more balanced way. So I would encourage you to look at those two.