The US legalization requiring political lobbying companies to declare budgets given to them by interested parties threw up more revealing information….and big money, this week.

Covington and Burling LLP took in almost $1.1 million from the National Football League in 2007 to lobby the federal government.

The firm lobbied on various pieces of legalization including those dealing with steroids use, Internet gambling, and millionaire Casinodisability and retirement benefits, according to the form posted online Feb. 21 by the Senate's public records office. $655 000 of that was spent in the second half of the year. There was no itemised breakdown of which issues received the most budget.

Not far behind the NFL was the Poker Players' Alliance, a pressure group based in Washington and dedicated to legalising online poker, which spent $900 000 in 2007 to lobby the federal government on online gambling legalization.

The group, which says it represents 800 000 poker enthusiasts nationwide, lobbied on a bill that would exempt poker from a law that restricts online gambling, and for legalization that would regulate the Internet gaming industry, according to a disclosure form posted online February 15 by the Senate's public records office. The alliance spent $780 000 lobbying on those issues in the second half of 2007.

It's legal to play poker online, but the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 made it illegal for US domestic banks and credit-card companies to process payments to online gambling businesses. The act bars financial institutions from handling gambling transactions, with discriminatory exceptions for online lotteries, horse racing and fantasy sports.