Casino magnate Adelson adds ex-congressman to his team of lobbyists

Former Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) is lobbying for Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson on legislation that would ban online gambling, according to federal records.

The addition of Mack gives a boost to the push to make Internet gambling illegal across the country, a cause of which tycoon and GOP mega-donor Adelson has become the most prominent supporter.

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Mack, who lost his 2012 challenge to Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonSenate campaign fundraising reports roll in Week ahead: Tech giants to testify on extremist content Puerto Rico's children need recovery funds MORE (D-Fla.), will lobby for Las Vegas Sands Corp. in support of the bill introduced earlier this year as well as broader “federal policy issues related to Internet gaming,” new lobbying disclosure records show. 

The hire comes a few weeks after Adelson’s company hired another K Street firm, The Keelen Group, to focus on the issue.

Adelson says he is morally opposed to online gambling and rejects suggestions that the lobbying effort is aimed at protecting his casino business.

In all, seven lobbying firms have worked for the Las Vegas Sands Corp. this year to battle legalized Internet casinos, which some states are using to help fill government coffers.

The bill to ban online gambling from Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzHouse Oversight slams TSA after report says officials 'interfered' in disciplinary case Gowdy steps down from Ethics Committee, citing 'challenging workload' Criminal referrals by members of Congress raise procedural questions MORE (R-Utah) and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDHS chief takes heat over Trump furor Overnight Defense: GOP chair blames Dems for defense budget holdup | FDA, Pentagon to speed approval of battlefield drugs | Mattis calls North Korea situation 'sobering' Bipartisan group to introduce DACA bill in House MORE (R-S.C.) would overturn a 2011 Justice Department decision allowing states to legalize the games within their borders. 

So far, Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have legalized some form of the games, and other states have considered following suit.

Supporters of a ban say they are merely trying to make sure that every smartphone and laptop in the country doesn’t become a casino where children have easy access, but opponents say that legalized gambling would allow for safe and regulated outlets, instead of the slew of black market sites that currently exist.