Casino developers will join government leaders to promote expanded gambling.
State Rep. David Flynn isn't trying to hide the fact that Tuesday's six-hour hearing at the Statehouse will be brazenly pro-gambling.
It's being convened to tout the economic benefits both of casinos and of slot machines at race tracks, according to Flynn, D-Bridgewater.
Neither are allowed in Massachusetts.
“The main thing I hope this does is to thrust those things back into the spotlight,” said Flynn, who arranged the hearing.
But it could be more of an “event” rather than a hearing, with some of the biggest names from the worlds of gambling and government converging on one place.
Among those expected to speak are Sheldon Adelson, chief executive of gambling giant Las Vegas Sands Corp. and one of the richest people in America; Gary Loveman, CEO of Harrah's Entertainment, another major gaming company; and representatives of celebrity businessman Donald Trump.
All three have expressed interest in bringing a casino to Massachusetts.
Government figures who may attend the hearing include Gov. Deval Patrick, four members of Patrick's cabinet and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, according to Flynn.
Representatives of all four racetracks in Massachusetts will also attend, Flynn said.
George Carney, owner of the Raynham Park dog track, said he will tout the merits of allowing slot machines at the tracks.
If all four tracks were allowed to have slots, it could generate up to $300 million in revenue for the state per year, Carney said.
He predicted that slots could be up and running at Raynham Park within three to four months.
Carney, who is also interested in putting a casino at the track, said he hasn't decided if he'd give up that ambition if slot machines were approved for tracks.
Patrick has filed a bill to legalize casino gambling and issue licenses for three casinos — one each in the southeastern, western and greater Boston regions of the state.
The governor says the casinos would generate 20,000 jobs and $400 million in annual revenue.
After an initial burst of interest this fall, talk of casinos has waned recently as Patrick's proposal has failed to gain much traction on Beacon Hill.
House Speaker Sal DiMasi, a casino opponent, has vowed to not allow hearings on the bill until next year.
Tuesday's hearing, then, is not on the bill itself.
Instead it will deal with the potential for tax revenues and job growth from expanded gambling, according to Flynn.
Flynn is chairman of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets, which is hosting the hearing.
He said the hearing won't include debate on the casino issue.
“It's not designed to be confrontational,” he said. “It's not designed to force anyone to unveil their master plans for gaming.”
It's not clear if representatives of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe will attend. The tribe is seeking to build a $1 billion resort casino in Middleboro, but is seeking federal approvals that would allow the casino to bypass the state licensure process.
Flynn said he didn't know if the tribe plans to attend, and a tribe spokesman didn't return a message Friday.
Tuesday's hearing will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Gardner Auditorium at the Statehouse.