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Romney’s hypocrisy has been exposed once again, this time by Mother Jones.

When Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts he kept his distance from gambling. He turned down donations from the gaming industry for his privately underwritten inaugural gala. And though he initially supported allowing the establishment of slot parlors in order to close a $3 billion state deficit, he later announced he would not consider an expansion of gambling and decried the "social costs associated with gaming." On the presidential campaign trail this year, Romney similarly declared that he opposed online poker because "of the social costs and people's addictive gambling habits." Heexplained, "I don't want to increase access to gaming. I feel that we have plenty of access to gaming right now through the various casinos and establishments that exist."
However this is just sheer hypocrisy because:
such reservations did not hinder him when he was a mega-financier. While Romney ran Bain Capital, the private equity firm he founded, he owned a Bain-affiliated investment fund that bet heavy on betting.
This is where the fun begins:
In March 1999, shortly after Romney departed Bain to run the 2002 Winter Olympics, Brookside Capital Investors Inc., a Bain-related entity wholly owned by Romney, filed a document with the Securities and Exchange Commission detailing the investments held the past quarter in its $559 million portfolio. On this roster were 1.2 million shares of GTECH Holdings Corp., then valued at $29 million. The company billed itself in its 1999 annual report as "a leading global supplier of systems and services to the lottery and gaming/entertaining industries." This description put it mildly; Gtech was the world's largest supplier of computer equipment for lotteries. It operated about 30 of 37 state lotteries in the United States, along with lotteries in England, Israel, Turkey, Australia, and other countries. It also was teaming up with big gaming firms to buy or revamp casinos and race tracks, adding and upgrading gambling equipment at these venues.
In 1998, Gtech had pulled in nearly $1 billion in revenue from its various gaming ventures. At the time Romney was investing in the firm, it was seeking to become a pioneer in Internet gambling.
Gtech was highly scandal plagued starting with the head of the company Guy Snowden. Here are a few examples:
In 1998, Guy Snowden resigned as head of the company a day after losing a bitter libel battle against billionaire Richard Branson, who had accused Snowden of trying to bribe him into withdrawing from a competition to run England's national lottery. Reporting on Snowden's departure, Fortune noted that "Snowden's often sleazy, win-at-all-costs tactics…have helped make Gtech the dominant force in the computerized lottery business." Snowden's exit followed a run of Gtech scandals. In 1996, a top executive of the Providence, Rhode Island-based firm was convicted in New Jersey of fraud, bribery, money laundering, and conspiracy. (The exec had hired lobbyists to push for expanding the New Jersey lottery and had received kickbacks.) In Texas, where Gtech paid a well-connected lobbyist $3.2 million, there were also allegations of kickbacks and shady wheeling-and-dealing.
Today Romney still denounces and bemoans the social-evils of gambling.
"Gaming has a social effect on a lot of people," he told Las Vegas journalist Jon Ralston earlier this year.
The Mormon Church also denounces and bemoans gambling. They should start denouncing one of the biggest gamblers in their midst, Romney (through his relationship with Sheldon Adelson).

Originally posted to Shawn on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 03:22 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Bain Files.

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