If you are confused about who wants online gambling and who doesn’t, this playbook will provide you with a quick reference guide on the major parties involved. Although it does not represent a complete list of everyone who is for or against internet gambling, I thought it might be useful to at least have a short list of characters with political, monetary, and/or social interests.
Sheldon G. Adelson (Billionaire casino magnate) – Seeks to ban all online betting. He is leading the fight to reverse the Justice Departments ruling in 2011 that cleared the road for internet gambling, and has successfully divided one of Washington’s most powerful interest groups as representatives in and out of college begin to take sides.
Senator Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) – has accepted tens of thousands of dollars in donations from Adelson and his family to introduce legislation drafted by an Adelson’s lobbyist.
The Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling – a new group bankrolled by Mr. Adelson that is wooing socially conservative lawmakers opposed to gambling, along with some Democrats who are worried about possible online gambling by minors. It also features a former New York governor, George E. Pataki, a Republican who presided over a sweeping expansion of gambling in that state, including online bets on horse racing.
Michael G. Oxley of Ohio – Republican former House member (lobbyist) – led efforts to outlaw online betting and accused companies selling such games of “gobbling up victims” in the United States.”
Mary Bono of California – Republican former House member
Jim Messina – President Obama’s former campaign manager
Haley Barbour – former governor of Mississippi and prominent Republican lobbyist who helped Republican “super PACs” raise millions of dollars in the effort to beat Mr. Obama in 2012.
Representative Jason Chaffetz – Republican (Utah)
Representative Tulsi Gabbard – Democrat (Hawaii)
Senator Kelly Ayotte – Republican (New Hampshire)
Senator Dianne Feinstein – Democrat (California)
Focus on the Family – Conservative Christian based organization
Concerned Women for America – Conservative Christian based organization
National Association of Evangelicals – Religious Organization
Southern Baptist Convention – Religious Organization
Governor Thomas Wolf – Democrat (Pennsylvania) on the
record as being opposed to any additional gambling expansion in his state, but he has been listed as open-minded on the subject. (As of October 15, 2015 a Wolf’s spokesman said that the first-term Democrat was also open to considering gambling proposals as a part of budgetary talks)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid – Democrat (Nevada) – Is said to be working behind the scenes to create a national legalization of online gambling.
Representative Joe Barton – Republican (Texas) – introduced a bill in 2011 to nationally legalize online poker.
Governor Chris Christie – Republican (New Jersey) signed legislation in 2014 authorizing online gambling in his state.
Senator Dean Heller – Republican (Nevada)
Atlantic City Casinos – Resorts, Golden Nugget, Tropicana, Bogata, Caesars, Bally’s, Trump Plaza, the Show Boat, Harrah’s, and Trump Taj Mahal
The Poker Players Alliance – Internet Gaming Group that donates large sums of money to fight the banning of online gambling
John Pappas – Executive Director of the Pokers Players Alliance
Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection – Consumer Group that is heavily supported financially by Caesars Entertainment to fight the ban on online gambling
Ed Sutor – Chief Executive Officer of Dover Downs Hotel & Casino
Delaware Casinos – Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, Delaware Park, and Harrington Raceway & Casino
Governor Brian Sandoval – Republican – Chairman of Nevada Gaming Commission
Senator Kim L. Ward – Republican (Pennsylvania)
Representative John Payne – Republican (Pennsylvania) – introduced a bill (HB 649) that would legalize and regulate online gambling in Pennsylvania and a resolution (HR 140) urging Congress to reject the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), Sheldon Adelson’s proposed federal online gambling ban
Speaker of the House Mike Turzai – Republican (Pennsylvania)
Representative Stephen Miskin – Republican (Pennsylvania)
Senator Tommy Tomlinson – Democrat (Pennsylvania)