When politicians talk about online gambling, they’re not fishing for votes from the public; they’re fishing for campaign contributions from the casinos. That’s the conclusion of a very interesting Las Vegas Sun article on campaign finances and the gaming industry by Karoun Demirjian.

Nevada Senators Reid and Heller, at your service.

According Demirjian pretty much any mention of an online poker bill on the campaign trail (and they’re pretty rare) is nothing more than a shout out deep pocketed gaming interests.

So that recent spat between Nevada senators Harry Reid and Dean Heller over who should be introducing the online poker bill is just a dog whistle to donors. Both senators are dead set on deflecting blame in order to keep gaming interest cash flowing.

This isn’t surprising given the amount of action the casinos throw at politicians. Listen to what Mike Sloan, a lobbyist for Station Casinos, said and you’ll get an idea of what’s at stake:

There’s not a person at my company or any company I’m aware of that hasn’t maxed out … under their donation limit.

He went on to say that Reid and Heller are simply trying to deflect blame for the absence of a Federal online poker bill.

So remember that when politicians talk online poker, they’re not interested in pleasing their constituents – they’re trolling for dollars.

Do you think gambling issues are on the political radar or is it really an insiders’ game? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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