Online Gambling Operators Lobbying US Legislators
The push among online gambling sites to be at the head of the line when the US market is reopened is beginning to approach a frenzy, as Internet casino companies have begun investing millions to sway US legislators. According to an article in the Telegraph, PartyGaming, PokerStars, and Sportingbet all have hired lobbyists to represent their specific and individual interests with US lawmakers.
US law, which requires public disclosure of all lobbying expenditures, shows that foreign companies are spending tens of millions to influence the eventual design of online gambling in the US. Even those involved in the periphery of the gaming industry are spending fortunes, such as payment processor UC Group, which reportedly has paid lobbyists $5.23 million.
Sportingbet and PartyGaming expenditures may not only be about repositioning the gambling operators to re-enter the US, but also to influence the ongoing negotiations over settlements for previous online gaming actions.
The size of the potential profit seen by these companies can be viewed through the determination to invest as much as possible to lobbying. UC Group spent nearly as much on lobbying as it declared in pre-tax profit, meaning half of all untaxed income went to supporting Barney Frank's bill to regulate online gambling.
Some gaming insiders have speculated that the US casino companies will get a huge advantage on licensing when the US laws change. Clearly, foreign online operators sense this possibility, and are willing to spend vast sums to avoid seeing this happen.
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