“Gaming is the closest thing we have in this country to a license to print money, so it’s extremely important that this industry be regulated,” Sen. Larry Farnese told Philadelphia Business Today.
Regulation of the gaming industry in Pennsylvania could be a challenge due to the millions of dollars donated to political campaigns by gaming interests, a study by Common Cause of Pennsylvania found.
The industry donated more than $4.3 million to candidates in Pa., more than $1 million for Governor Rendell, in the past seven years, according to the report.
“Given that the governor ran for office advocating slots gaming in the commonwealth, it is not surprising that he got significant contributions from people who shared his point of view,” Chuck Ardo, Rendell’s spokesman told the paper.
Former Senator Vincent Fumo received more than $400,000. He was considered the developer of the state’s 2004 gaming law, the paper said.
Donors were those with ownership stakes in the state’s casinos, slot manufacturers and the horse- racing industry.
Top donor was Ira Lubert and Lubert-Adler Management with close to $456,000, which owns interests in casinos to be built in Pittsburgh and Valley Forge. A spokesman for Lubert said those contributions were made before he entered the gaming industry.
Peter DePaul of the controversial Foxwoods casino in Philadelphia donated more than $425,000, according to the report. DePaul sued the state, which led the Supreme Court to end the ban on campaign contributions from casino interests.