Just a few days after the UK was not-so-shocked to find that Bet365, an online gambling company, gave more than 150,000 pounds in contributions to Gordon Brown’s Labour Party, the US lobbying group, The American Gaming Association, released their reports that declared more than $900,000 was spent lobbying Washington politicians the first half of 2007.
The American Gaming Association represents the majority of the major land based gambling companies in the US, such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Bally Technologies, and MGM Mirage. There are fifty more gambling related companies that the group represents.
All lobby groups in the US are required by federal law to report their spending if their intentions are to influence the executive or legislative branches.
It is unknown what the group has lobbied for, but the amount of money is so great that it makes the Christian lobby groups, who are often seen as the opposing force to gambling groups, seem like nothing.
“The Christian groups spend that amount of money, or more, per year, but their concerns are spread to other issues, whereas the American Gambling Association has one interest in mind,” said Gordon Price, Casino Gambling Web’s gaming analyst.
Expansion of gambling in the US is the concern of the major groups Price was referring to. It is unknown whether the companies would like to see gambling expanded to the Internet, where there has been much heated debate over the past year.
“Some companies are very eager to get their brand online catering to US customers,” said Price, “others may not have realized the potential of the online world.”
Last year it was speculated that land based groups were actually one of the forces behind the passing of the UIGEA, but this year it has been revealed that companies like MGM would be very interested in putting their brand online if the opportunity were to arise.