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Lobbyists Are Big (and Only) Winners Thus Far in US Online Gambling Battle

Written by:
Ace King
Published on:
Apr/23/2014
Lobbyists Are Big (and Only) Winners Thus Far in US Online Gambling Battle

States like New Jersey are not yet seeing the promised revenue numbers for their fledgling Internet gambling sector even though growth appears inevitable.  Likewise, the sites themselves are not exactly going gangbusters (not even NJ market leader PartyPoker). But alas, there is one group benefiting big time from the efforts to both legalize and prevent online gambling from taking shape in the US:  The lobbyists.

Howard Stutz of Casino City Times writes:

Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson — who has vowed to dip deep into his heavy wallet and spend whatever it takes kill online wagering — funded the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. The group hired former New York Gov. George Pataki, ex-Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and retired Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., to head the cause.

Not to be outdone, MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Corp. and the American Gaming Association are paying the bills for the pro-Internet gaming Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection. The organization has its own paid spokespeople: ex-Rep. Mary Bono, R-Calif., and former Rep. Mike Oxley, R-Ohio.

Apparently, some lobbyists sold themselves to the highest bidder.

As reported this month by political pundit Jon Ralston, Bono initially offered to work for Adelson’s side before joining the pro-online gaming forces. Meanwhile, Dickstein Shapiro, a large law firm with a lobbying component, initially pitched its services to Caesars before signing on with Adelson.

There are no loyalties.

- Ace King, Gambling911.com

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