A report in the LA Times has highlighted the benefits that politicians in California are reaping due to the donations that online poker lobbying groups are making.
The report states that State Senator Darrell Steinberg has benefited from the $1.36 million that land casino operators have given to the Democratic State Central Committee of California, which will prove essential for his party in the fall elections. Steinberg, along with State Senator Rod Wright have introduced SB1463, which would allow various casinos and card rooms in the Golden State to operate gambling websites.
"In the two years since Wright first proposed legalization, the six largest operators in the online poker association have spent $7.7 million on political contributions, gifts to officials and lobbying in Sacramento." the LA Times reports.
"The group includes Hollywood Park Casino, in Wright's district. Fifteen Indian tribes that own casinos, including the Morongo and San Manuel bands of Mission Indians are also members."
Senator Wright, the other politician that sponsored the bill has received $170,000 from gambling groups since 2008 in 85 different donations the paper reports.
"In addition, four casinos that founded the online poker association have anted up $11,500 for a legal defense fund for Wright in his ongoing battle against criminal charges of voter fraud and perjury. Los Angeles County prosecutors allege that Wright registered and voted using the address of an Inglewood property he owned but actually lived outside the district that elected him."
The donations go all the way up to the Governor's desk, with Jerry Brown getting contributions from the gambling lobbying groups, even though he has not taken a public stance on the Steinberg-Wright bill.