Casino Mogul Backing Gingrich
Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is stepping up as a major support of Newt Gingrich's bid for the Republican nomination for the next US presidency race, spending $5 million for recent ads and online videos attacking front-runner Mitt Romney.
Adelson has been a friend and supporter of Gingrich for over two decades, striking up their friendship when Adelson became an enthusiastic Republican supporter in the 1980s.
Adelson made his billions as a casino executive, including leading the efforts of US casino giant Las Vegas Sands in Las Vegas, Singapore, and Macau. Adelson's wealth has grown to an estimated $21.5 billion, making him one of the ten wealthiest American citizens.
The $5 million donated to Gingrich will help pay for ads and an online video that seek to undermine Mitt Romney in South Carolina, where the contest moves after the New Hampshire primary.
The attack ads were produced by the political action committee called Winning our Future, which is critical of Romney because of his lucrative years as head of private equity firm Bain Capital in the 1980s and 1990s.
Donations made to Republican Candidates
Adelson and his wife had donated more than $700,000 to Republican candidates in the three previous election cycles, with the Gingrich donation by far their largest single contribution to date.
The race for the Republican nomination is unusually close, with Romney currently considered the front-runner but far from the consensus choice, with votes splintered between various candidates who appeal to one segment of the party but not universally.
Unlike the glimmer of hope that online gambling fans and operators held out when Obama was elected President (who openly admitted to being a fan of poker), none of the Republican candidates are seen as likely being pro-gambling or making an effort to undo some of the anti-gambling legislation currently in force in the US.
Brick-and-mortar casino operators such as Las Vegas Sands, however, could benefit from a Gingrich or Romney presidency, as both are pro-business and would likely support expansion efforts in several US states to build more casinos in a bid to create jobs and keep more potential tax and tourist dollars in the US.