Well, as the casino debate in Massachusetts shifts to Racinos this summer, it's important for everyone, including Beacon Hill, to note that the Racino Lobby is as gifted with their math as the Casino Lobby - 25,000 construction jobs being only the most laughable example. Need a refresher? Let's take a look at what George Carney, owner of the Raynham tracks, has said in the past:
"I'm sticking with 650 [jobs]."
George Carney continuously claims to employ 650 people at the Raynham Racetrack. Of course, according to the Census, the actual number is less than 250 - including part timers. Specifically, between 100 and 249. Oops.
How gross is that lie? Well, if you combine all the race tracks in this state - dog, horse, car, whatever - there's 707 employees, according to the Massachusetts Department of Labor. So, George Carney claims to employ almost as many racing-related jobs as the entire industry of Massachusetts. George, we know you're big, but not that big!
What tangled webs we weave. Let's pretend George is right - he has 650 employees. George also released documents that give definitive labor costs for the Raynham Track. Here's George's labor costs over a 9 month period in '06:
Taunton Dog Track, Inc. – “casual labor” $8,800
Taunton Dog Track, Inc. – “salaries and wages” $544,500
Massasoit Greyhound Association – “contract labor expense” $1,980,092
Massasoit Greyhound Association – “salaries and wages” $2,622,384
So, if George's claims are right and he truly employs 650 people, there's some very simple math to do. 650/5,155,776 = $7,931. Either George is paying his 650 minimum wage or less (and he claims his jobs are good jobs), or he's completely full of himself. Even George knows his math is as fuzzy as a pair of over-used tennis balls.
Now, if George really employs ~200 people, that number is a more reasonable $25,779. Sound about right?
"If the ban on dog racing wins approval... it could eliminate 6,000 to 8,000 jobs at the two tracks."
Right off the bat, we've deduced that Carney employs between 100 and 249 employees at Raynham. Let's be generous and round up to 250. If that's the case, the other park in question, Wonderland Racetrack, would have to employ between 5,750 to 7,750 jobs. Of course, according to Census numbers, that's laughable. Note to George: they couldn't fit that many cars in the Wonderland Parking Lot.
In 2002, Wonderland employed between 250 and 499 full time and part time employees. Of course, there's probably even less now, given recent trends at Race Tracks in Massachusetts and across the country. In fact, Wonderland even threatened that if it doesn't get its way with Racinos, it'll shut up shop and close for good. Good riddance. With hundreds of millions being invested just across the street on the beach, as well as a T station even closer, there's limitless possibilities for those acres to be used, which could bring more and better jobs for the area - industries that aren't so prone to lie, distort and cheat about their numbers.