Game On! Clash of the Casino Titans

The high-stakes, high-roller tug of war to build our casino.

Illustration by John Ueland

Illustration by John Ueland

In December, when Foxboro’s board of selectmen voted 3–2 against allowing Bob Kraft and Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn to build a $1 billion resort casino in town, you might have thought that was that. Ha! With millions and billions at stake, nothing dies easily. There’s still a path to gambling gold for Kraft and Wynn. And that means we’re all in for a good old-fashioned power struggle. The new gaming law allows for just one casino in the eastern part of Massachusetts, and some of the state’s — and the country’s — wealthiest and most influential people are lining up against one another for the rights to it. On one side are the owner of the Patriots and the man who practically invented modern Las Vegas. On the other are the execs behind Suffolk Downs — a group that boasts some of the deepest political connections in town, a Trump apprentice, and a hotshot Harvard Business School prof turned casino magnate. Rest assured — nobody’s going down without a fight.

Team Foxboro

Robert Kraft and Steve Wynn fight for Foxboro.

Team Suffolk Downs

Gary Loveman, Joe O’Donnell, and Richard Fields push for Suffolk Downs slot machines.

Mapping it Out

A bird’s-eye view of how the casino chips may fall across Massachusetts.

Gimme Five

So who really gets to make the big decision?