Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson has continued his anti-online gambling crusade by hiring former GOP congressman Connie Mack of Mack Strategies to lobby against Internet gambling legislation.
As promised, Adelson is sparing no expense in his efforts to wipe out igaming endeavors in America. He has been busily assembling a dream team of sorts, well-known lobbyists with many years of experience in pushing their agendas in the nation’s capital.
Mack will go to bat for Adelson and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG) and will be tasked with lobbying in support of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, the federal bill introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) over three months ago. Mack joins a lobbying lineup that includes Steptoe & Johnson, Capitol Counsel, The Keelen Group and the Lincoln Policy Group.
Whether Adelson is winning the battle to eradicate online gambling or igaming proponents are in the lead can certainly be speculated. On the one hand, three states have regulated Internet gambling and more are contemplating doing so. On the other hand, Adelson is known to carry influence with some heavy hitters on the Republican team and has succeeded in forcing the American Gaming Association to take a seat on the bench and watch the contest from the sidelines.
It appears that the battle led on one side by the Poker Players Alliance and the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection (C4COP) versus the organization founded by Adelson is still in the early innings. CSIG was formed in December and C4COP shortly thereafter to counter the efforts of the 80-year-old casino mogul. No new states have enacted online gambling legislation since Adelson announced his intentions to restrict legalized gambling to land-based casinos.
Politco reports that Adelson paid over $200,000 to lobbying firms in the first three months of 2014 in his quest to rid the U.S. of regulated online gambling. That’s a mere drop in the bucket for the billionaire, who dumped way more than that supporting Republican hopefuls in the last election.