K Street hits the jackpot with casino magnate

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The casino magnate trying to ban online gambling hired a new lobbying firm to help with his efforts.

Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. picked up The Keelen Group to monitor “federal policy issues related to Internet gambling,” according to a new federal disclosure form.

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Specifically, the law firm will focus on support of a bill from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, which would reverse a 2011 Justice Department decision that opened the door for states to allow the practice. 

The Keelen Group official registered to lobby on the company’s behalf earlier this month, according to the registration form.

Adelson, who has also been a deep-pocketed supporter of Republican politicians, has been the most vocal advocate of a nationwide ban on online gambling. He has repeatedly claimed that children can be easily attracted to gambling websites and that it hurts the country.

Last year, the Las Vegas Sands Corp. wrote a draft bill prohibiting the games nationwide, which circulated around K Street.

The company owns multiple hotels in Las Vegas including the Venetian and the Palazzo, as well as resorts in Pennsylvania and Macau, China.

In addition to The Keelen Group, the company has also hired five other lobbying firms this year to focus on anti-Internet gambling legislation.

Since the Justice Department’s 2011 decision, Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have all legalized some form of online gambling. Many other states have also considered the move as a way to increase their revenues.