Wynn Resorts, the casino company vying for the Greater Boston gambling license, donated $200,000 last winter to the Republican Governors Association, the same organization that is now playing a key role in boosting Charlie Baker’s run for governor.
The state’s gambling law prohibits applicants for casino licenses from donating, directly or indirectly, money or in-kind contributions to “any group, political party, committee, or association organized in support” of a Massachusetts candidate. The association is a major funder of a television ad that is currently airing in the Boston market supporting Baker’s candidacy.
But whether the statute applies to Wynn’s donations is unclear.
There is no evidence Wynn’s firm earmarked its donation for Baker, and the association says it does not accept earmarked funds. It also says it has a segregated account for donations from the gambling industry, and does not distribute those funds in states where prohibitions like the one in Massachusetts exist.
But Common Cause of Massachusetts, which was instrumental in putting the provision into the 2011 casino licensing law, said the donations violate “the spirit if not the letter” of the prohibition on camp aign donations.
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