Orrin Hatch, Harry Reid and online gambling

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By now you’ve probably heard that Harry Reid is trying to figure out a way to legalize online gambling before the lame-duckies go home for the holidays.

Reaching out to other Senators, including Utah’s Orrin Hatch, Reid is trying to drum up support for his Christmas gift to the big casinos that put him back in office. Senator Hatch confirmed to Politico that Reid had approached him looking for support. Speaking to the Salt Lake Tribune, Hatch said “Everybody knows that I don’t like gambling, but on the other hand it is a legitimate business in his state. Apparently he’s promised some of his people in Nevada that he’s going to try to do that for them.”

It certainly appears that Reid is making an attempt to pay back some of his biggest campaign donors, like MGM (his #1 donor) and Harrah’s (his #4 donor). According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Las Vegas-based casino interests contributed $275,000 to Reid’s recent campaign. MGM and Harrah’s also combined to contribute at least $375,000 to Patriot Majority, an independent political group that spent more than $3.3 million attacking Reid’s Republican opponent, Sharon Angle. Gambling interests have spent over $700,000 on Harry since 2005.

Senator Hatch has also held fundraisers involving these same casino conglomerates. Only two senators have received more from Harrah’s, which owns the World Series of Poker. He took tens of thousands in donations from the gambling industry over the last six years and is in the top 10 Senate recipients funded by the gambling industry.

“Yeah, I have raised money in Nevada and I’ll continue to do so,” Hatch told the Salt Lake Tribune. If Reid is successful in attaching it to a bill, such as the omnibus budget legislation, he might have to vote for it. “You have to decide if you are going to support something that has elements that you don’t like,” he said.

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One Response to “Orrin Hatch, Harry Reid and online gambling”

  1. Daniel B. Says:

    Where did you get that photo…

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