03/04/2012 : GAMBLING COMPANIES CONTINUE TO INVEST IN LOBBYING
Latest figures from Congress show that internet gambling is still a hot topic
Figures for Q4-2011 on internet gambling lobbying expenditure show that an estimated $3.7 million was invested in lobbying by major companies and interested parties, up on the $3.61 million spent in the preceding quarter.
The numbers do not include direct political contributions to bodies like PACs (political action committees), where recent reports have it that land gambling moguls like Sheldon Adelson have donated millions to aspiring presidential candidates.
Adelson's Las Vegas Sands was a relatively small lobbyist in the quarter, investing a mere $10,000. At the other end of the scale, Caesars Entertainment splashed $784,000 (Q3-2011: $868,000) – mainly on internet poker-related legislative interests.
MGM Resorts, which like Caesars has been a consistent voice for federal legalization, put up $150,000 in the quarter, and its partner in the online venture with Bwin, Boyd Gaming paid out $50,000. Bwin itself invested $60,000.
Pokerstars maintained the level of its third quarter investment in lobbying at $150,000, acting through Rational Entertainment Enterprises, whilst TVG (Betfair's horseracing acquisition two years back) spent $120,000, seriously increasing their third quarter expenditure. Another horseracing group placing its political stake was Chruchill Downs on $80,000 – unchanged from the previous quarter.
Internationals showing an intense interest in US lobbying included the UK-based pro-internet gambling company UC Group, Greek lottery group Intralot, and GTech, whilst
the American Gaming Association anted up $511,000, the Poker Players Alliance spent $315,000, and the Interactive Gaming Council contributed $230,000.