The commercial casino industry, like any other industry, participates in the political process in a variety of ways, including donating money to candidates for political office. According to a 2006 report by the Center for Responsive Politics, the entire gaming industry—including Indian casinos, pari-mutuel wagering and other related businesses—ranked 28th among more than 80 industry and interest groups, well behind insurance, real estate and securities, and others in total contributions.
Restricting contributions would deny the commercial casino industry’s large work force (354,000-plus) and stockholders (more than 1 million) the constitutional right to participate in the political process. No legal industry should be singled out and treated differently, because it would create a slippery slope for elected officials to make other subjective judgments about industries they don’t like and attempt to silence them.
Denying this industry the right to participate in the democratic process will not enhance the already tight regulatory safeguards, nor is it in keeping with the traditions in this country that encourage political representation for everyone.