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Lobbying Still a Good business
Posted 1/5/11 : Figures from Q3 show that big money is still invested in influencing lawmakers
The St. Louis-based Bola Verde online gambling consultancy reports that US lobbying remained a profitable business in the third quarter of 2010, with 58 different parties investing an estimated $4.66 million lobbying Internet gambling in Washington, D.C., up 46 percent over the third quarter of 2009.
Bola Verde's Mark Balestra reports that the increase in Q3 /2010 was driven by July's positive progress in committee on Rep. Barney Frank’s internet gambling legalisation bill. The bill did not subsequently progress to the floor in a busy Congress, however.
In the three months ended September 30, gambling industry operators accounted for approximately $1.64 million, or 35.3 percent, of total quarterly spend, up 4.1 percent over the preceding quarter.
"In Washington, operators are playing a bigger role in the policymaking process as the financial services industry - which last year successfully delayed implementation of Internet gambling payment processing regulations - continues to spend less on steering that process," Balestra said.
"As Congress shifts its focus from the payments system to Internet gambling proper, gambling industry trade associations are also exercising more influence over the creation of related policy."
Balestra says that trade groups including the American Gaming Association accounted for an estimated $1.21 million, or 25.9 percent, of total quarterly spend, down 3.3 percent over the prior quarter.
Trailing the gambling industry trade associations were companies and interest groups that do not fit neatly into any of the categories used to organise lobbying spend each quarter. Categorised as "other" its members accounted for $771,685, or 16.5 percent, of total quarterly spend, up 97.9 percent over the preceding quarter.
Financial services companies - banks, credit card companies and payment processors - invested an estimated $662,114, or 14.1 percent, of total Q3 lobbying spend, down 21.6 percent from the preceding quarter.
Gambling industry technology suppliers GTech and Walker Digital Gaming were active, accounting for approximately $145,000, or 3.1 percent, of total quarterly spend, down 1.6 percent from the prior quarter. Missing from the lobbying rollcall were Intralot USA and ELottery, which usually lobby Internet gambling, but did not declare any related expenses in the third quarter.
Financial services trade associations such as the Financial Services Roundtable accounted for an estimated $132,934, or 3 percent, of total quarterly spend, up 216.5 percent from the previous quarter.
The professional and amateur sports leagues were relatively quiet on the lobby front, investing only $95,333, or 2.1 percent, of total quarterly spend, down 20.6 percent from the prior quarter.
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