Foxwoods spent $1.1M on Mass. casino campaign

Foxwoods Resort Casino poured more than $1.1 million into its unsuccessful campaign to win a Milford, Mass., referendum on a $1 billion casino proposal, finance reports show.

The Mashantucket Pequot-owned gaming enterprise spent about 40 times as much as Casino-Free Milford, the group that lobbied against the casino project, which would have been built off Interstate 495.

Foxwoods spent more than $339,000 on its campaign in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 19 vote in which 65 percent of those who cast ballots rejected the plan.

Between April 1 and Oct. 31, Foxwoods spent more than $792,000.

Foxwoods led a partnership that was vying for the sole Greater Boston casino license the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is expected to award next year. With Foxwoods out of the picture, two candidates for the license remain: Mohegan Sun, which is seeking to develop Suffolk Downs-owned property in Revere, and Wynn Resorts, which would build a casino in Everett.

Campaign groups were required to file finance reports Thursday, 30 days after the referendum. Final reports are due Jan. 20.

Casino-Free Milford raised more than $32,000 for its campaign and as of this week had spent about $28,000 of it, reports show. The group has spent $14,000 since Nov. 2, most of it on advertising, the printing of signs and mailers and postage.

A third group, the pro-casino Citizens for Milford’s Future, spent over $23,000, mostly on advertising and printing. Foxwoods supplied all of the group’s funding.

Foxwoods’ investment in the campaign came to $1,131,576.

Much of the total was paid to a Boston communications firm, The Rendon Group, for administration, advertising and “campaign services,” and to Mission Control, a Mansfield, Conn., advertising and mail firm.

Foxwoods paid Luis Tiant, a former major league pitcher familiar to Boston Red Sox fans, a $5,000 appearance fee.

Mohegan Sun, which had proposed a $1 billion casino project in western Massachusetts, spent $485,000 on a losing referendum campaign in Palmer — far less than Foxwoods spent in Milford.

Mohegan Sun now faces another referendum in connection with its Revere proposal. That vote is likely to be scheduled for late February.


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