Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Gaming Commission Director has long ties to gambling industry
Newly appointed Missouri Gaming Commission Director Jim Mathewson, who is conducting his first meeting today, received more than two-thirds of his contributions for his 2002 Senate campaign from gambling interests, according to Missouri Ethics Commission documents.
In an April interview with the Sedalia Democrat, shortly after his appointment by Gov. Jay Nixon, Mathewson said, "It has been my opinion that the gaming industry isn't always treated by the commission in the most respectful way and I can change that because I always treat everyone with respect."
Mathewson treated the industry with respect year after year when he submitted bills attempting to eliminate Missouri's loss limit law, something which was finally done last year by state voters.
Mathewson's 2002 reports filed with the Ethics Commission show he received $15,800 in contributions. Of that amount, $11,124 either came directly from casino interests or can be connected to a gambling industry lobbyist.
The October 2002 report shows Mathewson receiving $9,225 in contributions, with $5,475 coming from gambling interests. The contributions include
Isle of Capri $350
Isle of Capri-Boonville $575
Harrah's Operating Company $575
Isle of Capri Casino-Kansas City $350
Ameristar Casino-Kansas City $1,000
Missouri Gaming Company, Argosy Casino $1,175
St. Joseph Riverboat Partners/Frontier Casino $587.50
Ameristar Casino-St. Charles $725
Mark Twain Casino LLC, $587.50
Aztar Missouri Riverboat Gaming Company, $500
Mathewson's July 2002 report shows $4,600 in gambling contributions or donations from a casino lobbyist. Mathewson picked up $575 from Harrah's and $4,025 from interests represented by Ameristar Casinos lobbyists Gamble and Schlemeier, including $575 apiece from Missouri Soft Drink Association, Missouri Pharmacy PAC, Missouri Vocational Associaters, Rural Telecommunications Committee, Missouri Freight Rail, Residential Care Facility, and MORESPAC.
Mathewson, 71, a Sedalia Democrat, served in the Senate from 1980 to 2006,