Governor Deval L. Patrick
Gaming Commission Announcement
Governor’s Office, State House
Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Governor Patrick:

As you know, the Gaming Bill I signed last month established the guidelines for licensing three destination resorts and one slot facility here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Bidding must be open and transparent, applications must have the support of the host community, and projects must maximize the creation of jobs and private investment.  Alongside the law’s provisions, to protect public health and safety, we have a solid framework to implement expanded gaming wisely and well here in the Commonwealth.  

The responsibility for the review and approval of applications of gaming licenses and subsequent approval of facilities, falls to the Gaming Commission.  It is my responsibility to appoint a chair of the Commission and I am pleased to appoint Stephen Crosby as the first chair.

To me, the chair needs to be someone who has the capacity and experience to launch new organizations. Someone who knows and loves Massachusetts and appreciates what makes us special, and will bear that in mind as the Commission considers individual proposals.  Someone whose integrity is beyond reproach.  We have found that person in Steve.

Steve comes to this assignment as an independent, thoughtful and effective leader.  He is currently the Dean of the McCormack School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston, a position he has held since the graduate school’s founding in 2003.  He has served in state government as Secretary of Administration and Finance in the Cellucci Administration and as Chief of Staff to Governor Swift.  He has a distinguished background in the private sector as well as an entrepreneur who built a successful company from the ground up.  Last year, Steve served on the task force to review the hiring practices at the Massachusetts courts and probation department.

Steve and I have worked together before.  He chaired one of the transition committees after the election in 2006.  And he led a review I requested of compensation practices at the state’s quasi-public agencies that led to a more transparent and reasonable pay and benefit structure.  In each of these experiences, I have known him to listen to all views patiently, to call things exactly as he sees them, and to explain his reasoning with care.  This blend of public and private, paid as well as volunteer service makes Steve uniquely well-prepared for the work of the Commission.  
He has brought integrity, fair dealing, and candor to each of these experiences, and we can expect him to do so as the new Chair of the Gaming Commission.  For all of these reasons, Steve is the right person for the right time for this job.  

And now, I’d like to introduce the first Chairman of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Stephen Crosby.

Stephen Crosby:

Thank you, Governor.  I am deeply flattered by your wish for me to do this job.  I know that you have wrestled with the issue of expanded gaming, as have I, and that you have concluded that the Commonwealth is well served and its citizens have much to gain, most particularly in the creation of jobs so desperately needed in so many regions in this state.  

So the issue of whether or not to authorize expanding gaming in Massachusetts is decided.  Some people abhor it.  Some people love it.  It has public good and it has public bad.  Like the liquor industry, the gun industry, coal-fired power plants, and banks, to name just a few.  

My job, and eventually the job of the Commission, is first and foremost to maximize the public good and to minimize the unintended consequences.  And it is up to me and to the Commission, to ensure both the people of Massachusetts and the participants in the gaming industry, that the process for developing expanded gaming is honest, transparent and fair.

As a 50 year resident of Massachusetts, steeped in its particular strengths, and culture, and history, this matters as much to me personally as it does to you.  I had no intention of leaving my job at UMass Boston, a job at a University which I love very much.  But I see this as a challenge and as an opportunity of profound importance to the people of Massachusetts, to our culture, and to our history.  It’s a challenge and an opportunity which I cannot resist.  I look forward to doing the job.  I look forward to doing it well.  And I look forward to returning to UMass Boston after I’ve met the Governor’s request and aspiration that we do expanded gaming in Massachusetts right.

Thank you very much.