The Attleboro Sun Chronicle reported today that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has removed Plainridge Race Track, Plainville, Massachusetts, from consideration from Massachusetts’ one slot machine license.
The article reports:
It voted unanimously that the owners of the harness track had failed to demonstrate they could properly run a gambling establishment after admitting they did not realize former President Gary Piontkowski had been taking money from the track for years.
The track is now out of the running for the state’s sole slot machine license that had had five suitors.
The actions of one man will cost the Town of Plainville a projected income of $2 million a year.
The article further reports:
“But it has always been our commitment to establish that the integrity of this process is our single highest priority. No other considerations will compromise that commitment. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the tremendous work by the Investigations and Enforcement Bureau as well as our many partners in their ongoing efforts on these important matters.”
The bureau had uncovered the Piontkowski practice of taking money from the track, while the track reported the actions as disbursements.
When the bureau began asking questions, Piontkowski was replaced in April, although he and track officials claimed it was for health reasons.
Chief Financial Officer Timothy Peterson then resigned and did not appear at a commission hearing on the matter.
Principals Stanley Fulton and Alfred Ross said they were unaware of the situation and were passive investors.
Plainridge Race Track has been losing money for years. The slot machines were considered something that would save the track and save harness racing in Massachusetts. It is unfortunate that the actions of one man may result in the death of harness racing in the state.