Bil­lion­aires raise stakes in online gam­bling de­bate

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

2012 elec­tion. “You would be hard­pressed to find a big­ger donor to­day than gam­bling in­ter­ests,” he said.

In­deed, the casino and gam­ing in­dus­try fun­neled more than $3.6 mil­lion to Democrats and about $3.5 mil­lion to Repub­li­cans in the 2012 elec­tions, ac­cord­ing to OpenSe­crets.com.

The fight is crit­i­cal to some high-pro­file op­er­a­tions — most no­tably, Cae­sars.

“Cae­sars is bor­der­ing on bank­ruptcy,” Mr. Ber­nal said. “To try to sal­vage that in­vest­ment, they are lob­by­ing heav­ily to get online gam­bling. This is not a pub­lic up­ris­ing to have casi­nos on ev­ery­one’s cell­phones and in ev­ery­one’s bed­room.”

Gary Thomp­son, spokesman for Cae­sars En­ter­tain­ment, said online gam­bling is one of the ways in which the com­pany plans to ad­dress its fi­nan­cial chal­lenges. The casino chain, he said, supports “reg­u­la­tion over pro­hi­bi­tion” and Mr. Adel­son is mak­ing a bad bet.

“I think that the re­al­ity is when peo­ple ex­am­ine all the is­sues and re­ally con­sider them, and when you look at ei­ther the state or fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s de­sire to raise tax rev­enues, then Adel­son has a los­ing hand,” Mr. Thomp­son said. “He cer­tainly has a lot of money and he can prob­a­bly out­spend the en­tire rest of the gam­ing in­dus­try if he so chooses, but I think the facts speak for them­selves.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Shel­don Adel­son (left) of Las Ve­gas Sands Corp. says he will spend what­ever it takes to de­feat online gam­bling, but he has plenty of wealthy op­po­nents, in­clud­ing Don­ald Trump, the New York real es­tate mogul who part­nered with Ul­ti­mate Gam­ing to of­fer online wa­ger­ing in New Jersey.

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