Sunday April 27 ,2014 : MORE LOBBYISTS HIRED IN ONLINE GAMBLING BANNING FIGHT
US media report that money is pouring into Washington as the debate intensifies.
Sheldon Adelson's determination to stamp out online gambling in the United States is being met with fierce opposition from other bipartisan interested parties, including one of his competitors in the land industry, Caesars Entertainment.
The Huffington Post reports that recent lobbying registration forms show Caesars has signed up BGR Group and Clark Geduldig Cranford Nielsen, two major Republican lobbying firms, to fight Adelson moves to reinstate the Wire Act.
"The Las Vegas casino company is launching its bid for Internet gambling supremacy through affiliate Caesars Acquisition Company. Its bet is being backed by billionaire investors George Soros, John Paulson and Leon Cooperman.
“Soros, who contributed tens of millions of dollars to independent groups to defeat President George W. Bush in the 2004 election, has already given more than $1 million to Democratic super PACs in the 2014 election cycle," the newspaper reports.
Lobbyists signed up for Caesars include former Republican National Committee chairman and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour through his BGR Group and former Republican House staffers Sam Geduldig and Jay Cranford.
Adelson is also living up to his commitment to "spend whatever it takes" to ban internet gambling, extending his lobbying reach by hiring more lobbyists, several with strong Democratic ties, at Capitol Counsel, which joins Lincoln Policy Group and Steptoe & Johnson on the Las Vegas Sands payroll.
Adelson allies at Capitol Counsel include Republican Aaron Cohen and Democrat Drew Goesl.
Spearheading the Adelson attack in Congress by introducing banning bills are South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Utah Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz.
Huffington reports that Sen. Graham has received more than $20,000 this election cycle from Adelson, his family and the Sands Corporation's political action committee, according to Federal Election Commission records.
The Washington DC publication Politico is also reporting on the growing intensity of the fight for internet gambling, noting that Adelson’s "massive anti-Internet gambling crusade" is driving new business to the lobbying industry and confirming the recent sign-ups of additional lobbying firms by both sides.