With the issue of online gambling raging on in the USA, it’s been discovered that political lobbying firms have been engaged by both the pro-gambling and anti-gambling sides to help convince legislators. The issue at stake is whether online gambling should be legal on a federal and state-wide basis. Both opposing sides of the feud are now using political lobbying firms to help steer change in the direction they want.
The Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG) is an anti-online gaming organization funded by The Las Vegas Sands President and CEO and online gaming adversary Sheldon Adelson. They have apparently hired the political lobbying firm the Keelen Group to aid their legislative battles against online gambling.
Adelson has given recent admissions that his group plan to focus on ways to close down any unregulated online gaming companies servicing the United States.
The well-known lobbying group, the Keelen Group are led by prominent lobbyists Matthew Keelen, Frank McCarthy, and Stephen Borg. The company’s website has stated that some other high-profile figures have hired them to help with political battles include the International Association of Fire Fighters, the National Education Association, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The Keelen Group are known to be effective, and are listed in the top five of Bloomberg’s Top Performing Lobbying Firms as of last year.
On the other side of the battle, Amaya Services Ltd, a subsidiary of Amaya Gaming Group Inc., have brought in successful lobbying firm CSA Strategies to both help them fight for regulating internet gambling in general and to allow its gaming companies PokerStars and Full Tilt to apply for licenses in US states where gaming is and will be permitted soon. There is a wealth of untapped potential in the US for gambling companies, that they are unable to take advantage of due to anti-gaming laws.
Last month, PokerStars successfully came back to operate in the US for the first time since 2011’s infamous Black Friday incident. It launched its new licensed and regulated online gaming site in New Jersey, which is linked to a land-based casino in Atlantic City. The former counsel to the House Financial Services Committee Alejandro Urrea is the CSA Strategies representative lobbying on Amaya’s behalf.