Gaming Lobbies Spend $1.3 million in first half of 2007

by Lou on August 25, 2007

Casino Gambling Web reported that gaming firms spent more than $1.3 million in the first six months of this year to lobby politicians in Washington D.C.

Public records reveal these expendirures: PartyGaming PLC $140,000, Harrah’s $100,000, World Poker Tour $20,000, Station Casinos Inc. $60,000, and the American Gaming Association—the lobbying organization that represents the major brick-and-mortar casinos—spent $900,000 in lobbying thus far in 2007. While that may seem like a good chunk of change, it probably pales by comparison to expenditures by some of the major lobbies in this country, such as the gun lobby, the pharmaceutical lobby, teacher lobbies and others.

Nevertheless, I contend that if this much money were spent before the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was enacted, its passage could have been prevented and we wouldn’t be in this awful fix.

Millions of dollars in lost stock valuations, significant business realignments, losses of jobs, and the heavy-handed imposition of governmental policy on how we choose to spend our time and our money in the privacy of our own homes, could have been prevented. It should have been prevented too. Freedom, as they say, is not free. And a couple of million dollars well spent could have insured that the feds and the fundamentalists who claim to know what’s right for all of us could have been turned around and sent packing.

If we’re ever able to lobby and legislate our way back to where we were prior to UIGEA’s enactment, we ought to remember that this did not come easily or inexpensively, and that to keep those rights, we’ll have to keep our guard up and our wallets open.

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