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Gaming Guru

Molly Ball

Casino executives to lead finance effort

28 April 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- The Strip's top three casino titans, a group often at odds with one another, are banding together to help Republican John McCain get elected president in November.

Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson, MGM Mirage Chairman Terry Lanni and Wynn Resorts Chairman Steve Wynn were announced Friday as honorary co-chairmen of the Republican National Committee's Victory 2008 finance effort, which will raise money to support McCain's campaign for the presidency.

Sands Corp. President Bill Weidner, Adelson's political and corporate lieutenant, was named chairman of the effort, while Republican consultant and longtime McCain friend Sig Rogich was named co-chairman.

Weidner said Friday that he was examining whether his position at Freedom's Watch, the conservative issue advocacy group of which he is chairman, would conflict with the RNC finance post.

"We're going to work hard to raise as much money as we can in Nevada," he said. "Nevada may well be an important battleground state. We're going to rally people around John McCain."

Weidner said working with sometime rivals wouldn't be difficult.

"We are true believers," he said. "We may have competitive issues, but when we need to come together, I think we will coalesce very well."

Wynn is a registered Democrat, but he has frequently supported Republican candidates in the past. McCain met with Wynn when he visited Las Vegas for a fundraiser in March, and Wynn offered his support, according to a Republican official.

The decision pits the Wynns, both prominent figures in Las Vegas, against each other.

Wynn's wife, Elaine, was an early supporter of Democrat Barack Obama, although she previously had been a registered Republican.

Chairs were named in all 50 states in an RNC news release Friday.

Casino executives to lead finance effort is republished from