Law Firms, Lobbyists Score Big Payoffs With New Jersey Online Gambling

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Law Firms, Lobbyists Score Big Payoffs With New Jersey Online Gambling

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has disclosed that lawyers, lobbyists and other professional organizations have generated a $50.3 million payoff since mid-2009 pushing for legalized online gambling in the Garden State.

The spending reports are supposed to cover professional services including but not limited to "legal, consulting, lobbying, auditing, accounting, recruitment, and referral services provided with regard to Internet gaming," the regulations say.

It's an unusual requirement, one lawyer told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"Many states have statutes requiring public disclosure of revenues by lobbyists, including New Jersey, but this is the first time I have ever heard of a gaming regulatory agency requiring disclosure of payments to lawyers," said Nicholas Casiello Jr., chair of the law firm Fox Rothschild's gaming group in Atlantic City. 

The Philadelphia firm came in 4th in terms of legal services, collecting $764,988 from a total of 13 clients over a four year period.  Denver firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, L.L.P with an office in Absecon, N.J led the pack, however, collecting nearly $5 million over this same time period.

"We are a national firm and handle both national and local issues. I'd estimate that roughly 25 percent came from our Atlantic City office," Paul O'Gara, shareholder in the New Jersey office of Brownstein Hyatt, said in an e-mail to the Inquirer.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com  

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