Debate over legalization of online gambling in California has been going on for over two years now. Yet another year of meetings and debates is likely to precede the necessary changes in American gambling laws of the state of California.
Lobbyists and politicians are profiting greatly from the extended debates as they receive millions from various race tracks, card rooms, Native American tribes, mothers against gambling, war veteran groups, Latino action groups, California Association of Imams and even the Gay and Lesbian League of Equality.
It’s not easy to calculate the exact sum spent on lobbying for or against online gambling in California since many of the consultants and lawyers are not registered lobbyists. However some estimates can be made.
The San Manuel and the Morongo tribes are investing heavily in introduction of online casinos in United States. Last year the two tribes spent $337,000 on lobbying, and during the first half of this year – $304,000. Biggest racetracks and card rooms spent another $500K for their interest in online gaming.
Howard Dickstein, a lawyer for several Indian tribes, told online gambling news in United States: “Any time there’s a major new legislative initiative that is contentious, the details of which have to be worked out, it’s good for the business of lobbyists, political consultants and lawyers. Any issue where there is this much money involved is going to attract advocacy on all sides.”
Ever since the early 1990s, when gaming was introduced in California, gambling interests have been the largest paying lobbyists. Taking the industry online will definitely require a huge political push. It remains to be seen just how long politicians will discuss the new laws instead of actual action.