Casino mogul Shel Adelson ponied up another $5 million donation to the Newt Gingrich presidential campaign, bringing his total to $10 million so far. The donation, made in the name of Adelson’s wife Dr. Miriam Adelson, gives Gingrich a much needed edge going into the crucial Florida GOP primary.

Last week Gingrich pulled a surprise upset of GOP front runner Mitt Romney in the South Carolina primary. That victory was due, in no small part, to Adelson’s first $5 million donation to the campaign.

Adelson Influence

Cynics can be forgiven for asking what, besides a sincere faith in Gingrich, could motivate Adelson to drop a large amount of cash on a candidate many Republicans consider a losing bet in the general election. (Besides the fact that he’s one of the richest men in the world and can spare the cash.)

The two men are, in fact, close friends. Adelson recently told reporters, “My motivation for helping Newt is simple and should not be mistaken for anything other than the fact that my wife Miriam and I hold our friendship with him very dear and are doing what we can as private citizens to support his candidacy.”

Casino Interests

One thought is that Adelson, who is firmly against legalized online gaming, is looking for an extra edge in protecting the interests of land based casinos in the face of growing legalization efforts. Gaming fights are currently being waged hot and heavy in battleground states like Massachusetts and Florida. Adelson recently retained a high powered lobbyist in the hopes of securing a Massachusetts gaming license.

It’s also possible that Adelson likes backing candidate he thinks have a shot at winning. In 2004, Adelson has in the past donated smaller amounts to Romney’s previous campaigns and supported Rudy Giuliani as well.


Should Gingrich do well in Florida, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Adelson drop a few million more to keep him in the race. The Gingrich organization is underfunded and poorly organized compared with Romney’s campaign. It’s no stretch to say that Adelson’s money is keeping Gingrich alive for the time being.

What Adelson hopes to get out of the deal, besides a presidential candidate he really likes, is for now a matter of speculation.

What do you think is motivating Shel Adelson to drop so much money on Newt Gingrich? Let us know in our Online Gambling Newswire.


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