The casino industry in the United States has always used a percentage of its revenues to fund charities and non-government institutions. Most casinos usually have a list of programs and sponsors that receive regular assistance on a yearly basis. And as everywhere, some casinos have also been making significant donations to politicians and their political campaigns.
Lawmakers in Alabama recently rolled out a new bill (HB604) which would make it illegal for any organization with gambling interests to donate to a political campaign. This new bill was introduced soon after a budget plan was released by Alabama House of Representatives Republican Caucus which enlisted a deal with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. The Poarch Band has historically provided sizable donations to political candidates and run four gambling establishments in the state.
In a statement, Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville who is a sponsor of the bill said “I am not for legalizing gambling in Alabama. However, with the recent discussions about possible legislation to expand gambling in the state, I believe it is important to prevent gambling lobbyists from influencing legislators through political contributions.” Some of the other sponsors of this bill include Jim Patterson,Nathaniel Ledbetter, Kerry Rich, Rich Wingo, Connie Rowe, Will Ainsworth, Ken Johnson, David Faulkner and Howard Sanderford.
The new bill proposed by Garrett states that any enterprise which makes any amount of money from gambling related activities must be termed as a gambling establishment. This includes enterprises who indulge in the selling or trading of gambling paraphernalia or equipment.