Research Report: Placing Policy Bets – The Lobbying of the Vegas Strip

The lobbying activity of the online gambling industry has been in the spotlight for much of this year.  But, as we all know, the center of the gambling world in the U.S. is Las Vegas – and no place in Vegas has a higher profile than the The Strip.  The First Street Research Group profiled the four major hotel casino companies on the Las Vegas Strip that operate the majority of casinos that draw in high stakes gamblers:

These four companies spend handsomely to hire lobbying firms to monitor legislation, protect their interest and advocate on their behalf.

Overall Highlights

  • To date, these four companies spent a combined $3,082,224  in 2011 on their total lobbying activity and hired 11 lobbying firms to represent them.
  • 53 lobbyists represented the four Las Vegas Strip casino operators in 2011, including 35 that have gone through the revolving door as government staffers.  3 of these revolving door lobbyists are former Members of Congress. Additionally, the revolving door staffers have worked for 21 Members of Congress, 7 as Chiefs of Staff, and 13 Committees.
  • Each of these companies operates a Political Action Committee (PAC) that has been active in 2011.  Collectively the four PAC’s have contributed $308,500 to 52 unique PACs representing over 40 congressional candidates.  Rep. Joe Heck (R NV-3) is the sole candidate who has received contributions from all four of the PACs.
  • 7 of the First Street 30 – the most influential lobbyists in 2011 –  represented Caesars Entertainment in 2011.
  • Since 2008 the four companies have spent a combined $11,460,309 on their total lobbying activity. The chart below shows each companies lobbying activity by year and totals for each company.
2008 2009 2010 2011 Company Totals
Wynn Resorts $130,000 $150,000 $135,000 $415,000
Las Vegas Sands $470,000 $300,000 $90,000 $80,000 $940,000
MGM Resorts $370,000 $360,000 $300,000 $412,000 $1,442,000
Caesars Entertainment $400,000 $1,887,143 $3,900,942 $2,475,224 $8,663,309
Yearly Totals $1,240,000 $2,677,143 $4,440,942 $3,102,224

Report

Wynn Resorts, LTD.

2011 Lobbying Firms Hired

Name Filing Quarter Amount Lobbying Report
Clark Hill PLC 2011 3Q $45,000 LD2
Clark Hill PLC 2011 2Q $60,000 LD2
Clark Hill PLC 2011 1Q $30,000 LD2
2011 Totals $135,000.00

2011 Lobbyists Hired
Charles Spies
Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Clark Hill PLC
Formerly: Executive Assistant – Office of the Commissioners (Federal Election Commission (FEC))

2011 Issues Lobbied On

  • Taxation/Internal Revenue Code: “International taxation and internet gambling issues.”

2011 Campaign Contributions Given By Wynn Resorts LTD PAC

Beneficiary Candidate Amount 
Friends of Joe Heck (Connected to: Patriot Day 2011 Jfc) Rep. Joe Heck (R NV-3) $5,000

Interesting Note: At the end of 2010 Wynn Resorts terminated lobbying contracts with Mayer Brown LLP & PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Las Vegas Sands Corporation

2011 Lobbying Firms Hired

Name Filing Quarter Amount Lobbying Report
Husch Blackwell LLP 2011 3Q $30,000 LD2
Patton Boggs LLP 2011 3Q <$5,000 LD2
Husch Blackwell LLP 2011 2Q $20,000 LD2
Patton Boggs LLP 2011 2Q <$5,000 LD2
Husch Blackwell LLP 2011 1Q $30,000 LD2
Patton Boggs LLP 2011 1Q <$5,000 LD2
2011 Totals $80,000

2011 Lobbyists Hired
Darryl Nirenberg
Currently:Registered Lobbyist – Patton Boggs LLP
Formerly: Chief of Staff, Legislative Director – Sen. Jesse A. Helms (R NC)
Matthew Scott Oresman  
Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Patton Boggs LLP
Formerly: Disclosed Position – “Sen.E.Kennedy,Intern,99;SenateJuducCom,LawClrck,05”
Adam Sachs  
Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Husch Blackwell LLP
Formerly: Democratic Staff Director – Subcommittee Oversight and Investigations (House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs)

2011 Issues Lobbied On

  • Aviation/Aircraft/Airlines: “BARR program provisions in the FAA Reauthorization effort.”
  • Banking: “Monitor Administration, House and Senate legislative proposals related to internet gaming.”
  • Gaming/Gambling/Casino: “General gaming issues”
  • Taxation/Internal Revenue Code: “Dual capacity taxpayers” & “Monitor Administration, House and Senate legislative proposals related to “dual capacity taxpayers.”
  • Trade (Domestic & Foreign): “Issues related to trade, investment and travel policies of the People’s Republic of China.”
  • Travel/Tourism: “Foreign Tourist Visas”& “Meetings regarding Foreign Tourist Visa issue.” & “Interact with Department of Commerce on tourist visa review process for foreign visitors to United States.”

2011 Campaign Contributions Given By Las Vegas Sands Corp. Political Action Committee (Sands PAC)

Beneficiary Candidate Amount 
American Gaming Association Political Action Committee $5,000
Amodei For Nevada Rep. Mark Amodei (R NV-2) $5,000
Friends of Joe Heck (Connected to: Patriot Day 2011 Jfc) Rep. Joe Heck (R NV-3) $5,000
Heller For Senate Sen. Dean Heller (R NV) $5,000
Latham For Congress (Connected to: Iowa Leadership Fund) Rep. Tom Latham (R IA-4) $1,000
Total Amount Donated in 2011 $21,000


MGM Resorts

2011 Lobbying Firms Hired

Name Filing Quarter Amount Lobbying Report
Cassidy & Associates, Inc. 2011 3Q $150,000 LD2
Piper Overstreet Consulting 2011 3Q $22,000 LD2
Cassidy & Associates, Inc. 2011 2Q $110,000 LD2
Cassidy & Associates, Inc. 2011 1Q $90,000 LD2
Piper Overstreet Consulting
2011 1Q $20,000 LD2
2011 Totals $392,000

2011 Lobbyists Hired
Piper Overstreet
Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Piper Overstreet Consulting
Formerly: District Representative – Rep. Shelley Berkley (D NV-1)
Kai S. Anderson
Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Cassidy & Associates, Inc.
Formerly: Deputy Chief of Staff – Assistant Minority (Democratic) Leader of the Senate (Sen. Harry Reid (D NV))
Jordan Bernstein
Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Cassidy & Associates, Inc.
Formerly: Chief of Staff (Telecommunications, Defense, Foreign Policy, Education, Small Business, Postal Issues, Transportation) – Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R MO-8)
Megan Ekstrom
Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Cassidy & Associates, Inc.
Christine Evans
Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Cassidy & Associates, Inc.
Formerly:Policy and Planning Coordinator – House Republican Conference
Andrew Forbes
Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Cassidy & Associates, Inc.
Formerly: Senior Legislative Assistant, Judiciary – Rep. Ric Keller (R FL-8)
William Fox
Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Cassidy & Associates, Inc.
Formerly: Disclosed Position – “Leg. Staff Asst. House Tranportation Comm.”
Gregg Hartley
Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Cassidy & Associates, Inc.
Formerly: Chief of Staff – Office of the Majority (Republican) Whip (Rep. Roy Blunt (R MO-7))
Jessica Myers
Currently: Registered Lobbyist – Cassidy & Associates, Inc.

Legislation Lobbied on in 2011

  • 112 H.R.1174: Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act
  • 112 H.R.2230: Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2011
  • 112 H.R.2366: Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection, and Strengthening UIGEA Act of 2011

2011 Issues Lobbied On

  • Aviation/Aircraft/Airlines: “Monitoring General Airport Issues, related to travel and tourism and FAA Reauthorization”
  • Gaming/Gambling/Casino: “Monitoring general gaming issues and legislation, including internet gaming, HR2366-Internet Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer; Protection and Strengthening Act, UIGEA Act; HR1174- Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act;; HR 2230- Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act.”
  • Immigration: “Monitoring immigration and visa legislation”
  • Travel/Tourism: “Issues associated with federal travel ; Implementation of Travel Promotion Act (PL 111-145)”

2011 Campaign Contributions Given By MGM Resorts International PAC

Beneficiary Candidate Amount 
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee $15,000
National Republican Senatorial Committee $15,000
Berkley For Senate Rep. Shelley Berkley (D NV-1) $10,000
Hansen Clarke For Congress Rep. Hansen Clarke (D MI-13) $10,000
Heller For Senate Sen. Dean Heller (R NV) $10,000
American Gaming Association Political Action Committee $5,000
Ensign For Senate Sen. John Ensign (R NV) $5,000
Every Republican Is Crucial (ERICPAC) (Connected to: Young Guns Majority Victory Fund) $5,000
Friends of Joe Heck (Connected to: Patriot Day 2011 Jfc) Rep. Joe Heck (R NV-3) $5,000
Hellerhighwater PAC (Connected to: Dean Heller) $5,000
Searchlight Leadership Fund (Connected to: Reid) $5,000
Silver State 21st Century PAC (Connected to: Berkley) $5,000
Benishek For Congress, Inc. Rep. Dan Benishek (R MI-1) $2,500
Friends of Kate Marshall (Connected to: Northern Nevada Victory Fund) Marshall, Kate $2,500
Klobuchar For Minnesota 2012 Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D MN) $2,500
Larson For Congress Rep. John B. Larson (D CT-1) $2,500
Montanans For Tester Sen. Jon Tester (D MT) $2,500
Feinstein For Senate Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D CA) $1,000
Langevin For Congress Rep. Jim Langevin (D RI-2) $1,000
Latham For Congress (Connected to: Iowa Leadership Fund) Rep. Tom Latham (R IA-4) $1,000
Responsibility and Freedom Work PAC (Rfwpac) $1,000
Simpson For Congress Rep. Mike Simpson (R ID-2) $1,000
Total Amount Donated in 2011  $112,500


Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, Inc. (fka) Harrah’s Operating Co, Inc.

Caesars has spent $2,475,224 on their total lobbying activity in 2011, including $1,190,00 which was spent on hiring 6 lobbying firms.

2011 Total Lobbying Spending

Filing Quarter Amount Lobbying Report
2011 3Q $868,679 LD2
2011 2Q $821,724 LD2
2011 1Q $784,821 LD2
2011 Total $2,475,224

2011 Lobbying Firms Hired

Name Filing Quarter Amount Lobbying Report
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP 2011 3Q $150,000 LD2
Podesta Group, Inc. 2011 3Q $120,000 LD2
Capitol Counsel, LLC 2011 3Q $80,000 LD2
Slayco, LLC
2011 3Q $30,000 LD2
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP 2011 2Q $150,000 LD2
Podesta Group, Inc. 2011 2Q $120,000 LD2
Capitol Counsel, LLC 2011 2Q $80,000 LD2
Slayco, LLC 2011 2Q $30,000 LD2
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP 2011 1Q $160,000 LD2
Podesta Group, Inc. 2011 1Q $120,000 LD2
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP 2011 1Q $40,000 LD2
Slayco, LLC 2011 1Q $30,000 LD2
US Strategies 2011 1Q <$5,000 LD2
Capitol Counsel, LLC 2011 1Q $80,000 LD2
2011 Totals $1,190,000

2011 In-House Lobbyists
Karlos R La Sane, II
John Maddox
David Satz
Janis L Jones

2011 Outside Lobbyists Employed
Edward Ambrose
(Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP)
Formerly: Legislative Assistant – Melissa Hart
Dena Battle (Capitol Counsel, LLC)
Formerly: Senior Adviser (International Relations, Trade, Defense) – Nick Smith
Nicole Bradstreet (Podesta Group, Inc.)
Jay Henry Brown (Slayco, LLC)
Norm Brownstein (Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP)
David Phillip Cohen (Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP)
Formerly: Professional Staff Member – Subcommittee on General Oversight and Investigations
Smith W. Davis (Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP)
Makan Delrahim (Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP)
Formerly: Minority Staff Director and Chief Counsel – Committee on the Judiciary
Victor H. Fazio (Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP)
Shannon Finley (Capitol Counsel, LLC)
Jayne Fitzgerald (Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; Iroquois Healthcare Alliance)
Professional Assistant – Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures (Committee on Ways and Means)
Randall Gerard (Podesta Group, Inc.)
Drew Gosel (Capitol Counsel, LLC)
Formerly: Chief of Staff – Rep. Mike Ross (D AR-4)
Jim Gottlieb (Capitol Counsel, LLC; Gottlieb Strategic Consulting LLC)
Formerly: Chief of Staff – Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
James Gould (Capitol Counsel, LLC)
Formerly: Disclosed – “Staff Director, Senate Finance Committee”
Jaime R Harrison (Podesta Group, Inc.)
Formerly: Counsel; Director of Floor Operations – Majority (Democratic) Whip
Kathryn Hollister (Podesta Group, Inc.)
David Jones (Capitol Counsel, LLC)
Israel Klein (First Data Corporation; Podesta Group, Inc.)
Formerly: Deputy Staff Director for Communications – Joint Economic Committee
Robert Leonard (Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP)
Formerly: Dislcosed – “Chief cnsl & staff dir, H Ways & Means Comm, 1987-93”
Andrew J Lewin (Podesta Group, Inc.)
Formerly: Legislative Director (Financial Services, Trade, Energy) – Max Sandlin
David Marin (First Data Corporation; Podesta Group, Inc.)
Formerly: Minority Staff Director – Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
James O McCrery III (Capitol Counsel, LLC)
Jeffrey D. McMillen (Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP)
David Morgenstern (Podesta Group, Inc.)
Formerly: Chief of Staff – Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Will Moschella (Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP)
Formerly: Chief Legislative Counsel – Committee on Judiciary
Bill Paxon (Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP)
Anthony Podesta (Podesta Group, Inc.)
Michael Quaranta (First Data Corporation; Podesta Group, Inc.)
Formerly: Chief of Staff – Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE)
John D. Raffaelli (Capitol Counsel, LLC)
John Scofield (Podesta Group, Inc.; Shockey Scofield Solutions, LLC)
Formerly: Communications Director – Committee on Appropriations
Tucker Shumack (Capitol Counsel, LLC)
Formerly: Minority (Republican) Tax and Finance Counsel – Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Arshi Siddiqui (Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP)
Formerly: Senior Policy Advisor – Speaker of the House (Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D CA-))
Mike Sloan (Mr. Mike Sloan; Slayco, LLC)
Michael Solon (Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; Michael Solon – Capitol Legistics)
Formerly: Policy Director – Assistant Majority (Republican) Leader of the Senate (Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY))
Richard Lyles Sullivan (Capitol Counsel, LLC)
Formerly: Director of the National Fundraising Program – Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee


2011 Issues Lobbied On

  • Gaming/Gambling/Casino: “Legislation related to internet gaming and taxes” & “Internet gaming proposals. & “H.R. 2267 Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act; H.R. 2266 Reasonable Prudence in Regulation Act” & “Legislation related to internet gaming and taxes” & “Legislation to license and regulate online poker. Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, generally.” & “Regulation of Internet Gaming”
  • Taxation/Internal Revenue Code: “Legislation relating to internet gaming and taxes” & “Internet gaming issues, including all sections and all provisions of H.R. 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act, H.R. 2268, Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2009 and S. 1597, Internet Poker and Game of Skill Regulation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2009”

2011 Campaign Contributions Given By Caesars Entertainment Political Action Committee

Beneficiary
Candidate  Amount
Boehner For Speaker (Connected to: NRCC/Freedom Project/OH Rep   Party) Rep. John Boehner (R   OH-8) $15,000
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee $15,000
National Republican Congressional Committee $15,000
Friends of Joe Heck (Connected to: Patriot Day 2011 Jfc) Rep. Joe Heck (R NV-3) $10,000
Heller For Senate
Sen. Dean Heller (R NV)
$10,000
LoBiondo For Congress Rep. Frank A.   LoBiondo (R NJ-2) $10,000
American Gaming Association Political Action Committee $5,000
Ameripac: The Fund For A Greater America $5,000
Amodei For Nevada
Rep. Mark Amodei (R NV-2)
$5,000
Berkley For Senate
Rep. Shelley Berkley (D NV-1)
$5,000
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee $5,000
Freedom Project; The $5,000
Friends For Harry Reid Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) $5,000
Friends of Kate Marshall (Connected to: Northern Nevada Victory   Fund) Marshall, Kate $5,000
Hoyer For Congress (Connected to: Hoyer Victory Fund) Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD-5) $5,000
Klobuchar For Minnesota 2012 Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D   MN) $5,000
Searchlight Leadership Fund (Connected to: Reid) $5,000
Bill Nelson For U S Senate Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) $2,500
Cantor For Congress (Connected to: Cantor Victory Fund) Rep. Eric Cantor (R VA-7) $2,500
Every Republican Is Crucial (Ericpac) (Connected to: Young Guns   Majority Victory Fund) $2,500
Freedom Fund (Connected to: Crapo) $2,500
Jon Runyan For Congress, Inc. (Connected to: Lucky 13 Joint   Fundraising Committee)
Rep. Jon Runyan (R NJ-3)
$2,500
Kevin McCarthy For Congress (Connected to: Four Amigos Joint Committee) Rep. Kevin McCarthy   (R CA-22) $2,500
Larson For Congress Rep. John B. Larson   (D CT-1) $2,500
Titus For Congress Titus, Dina $2,500
Whitehouse For Senate Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D RI) $2,500
Bruning For Senate Incorporated Bruning, Jon C $2,000
John Lewis For Congress (Connected to: John Lewis Victory Fund) Rep. John Lewis (D GA-5) $2,000
Lance For Congress (Connected to: Amrericans For Republican   Leadership P) Rep. Leonard Lance (R   NJ-7) $2,000
The Congressman Joe Barton Committee Rep. Joe Barton (R TX-6) $1,500
Dave Camp For Congress Rep. Dave Camp (R MI-4) $1,000
Michael Grimm For Congress (Connected to: Team 2012) Rep. Michael Grimm (R   NY-13) $1,000
Palazzo For Congress (Connected to: Lucky 13 Joint Fundraising   Committee)
Rep. Steven Palazzo (R MS-4)
$1,000
Pascrell For Congress Rep. Bill Pascrell (D NJ-8) $1,000
Republican Operation to Secure and Keep A Majority (Roskam PAC) $1,000
Ruben Kihuen For Congress Kihuen, Ruben $1,000
Stabenow For US Senate Sen. Debbie Stabenow   (D MI) $1,000
Steve Cohen For Congress Rep. Steve Cohen (D TN-9) $1,000
Upton For All of US Rep. Fred Upton (R MI-6) $1,000
Zaun For Congress Zaun, Brad $1,000
2011 Total Donations $170,000

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