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Industry spent $5.16 million in lobbying in U.S.

5 May 2010

ST. LOUIS, Missouri -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Thirty-six different parties spent a combined estimated $5.16 million lobbying Internet gambling in Washington, D.C. during the first quarter of 2010, according to a new report from BolaVerde Media Group (BVMG). The leader of the pack, Harrah's Entertainment Inc, spent an estimated $1.22 million during this period, increasing its lobbying spend 73 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009.

The top five was rounded out by the Poker Players Alliance at $785,000, UC Group at $717,239, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) at $664,442 and the Interactive Gaming Council at $412,580.

The first quarter's total was down 16 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009--a drop-off primarily attributable to the USCC, the country's biggest-spending special interest group, which, between the fourth quarter and the first, reduced online gambling outlay by 66 percent.

The Q1 Internet Gambling Federal Lobbying Report analyzes total lobbying spend in the first quarter by company, per bill. Taking careful aim at comparing results from 2009 lobbying spend, the report takes a fascinating look at how policy decisions are being influenced by companies including Harrah's, Wynn Resorts, MGM Mirage, PokerStars, PartyGaming, Intralot USA, the National Football League and Gtech, among others, as well as the newest spender on the block, Betfair US.

The report also takes note of some significant changes -- like the American Gaming Association's dramatic increase in Q1 spend and Intralot USA's striking decrease in spend -- and significant political developments affecting, and affected by, lobbying efforts.

"Anyone interested in the global Internet gambling industry needs to take notice of the bigger picture in the United States, including who is plotting entry and who might be reconsidering their positions, as well as the financial weight being thrown around," BVMG Managing Director Mark Balestra explained. "As is the case with any industry, special interests play an important role in shaping future policy. In this sense, an evaluation of lobbying strategies and spending trends lends pretty good insight into how things could pan out in Washington."

The report's incisive forecasts for the 2010 legislative sessions ensure a clear understanding of developments to come, including predictions of companies likely to begin lobbying Internet gambling in 2010.

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Industry spent $5.16 million in lobbying in U.S. is republished from