Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 1, 2014

Money Mover & Lobbyist Leaves American Gaming Assn.

A former Republican fundraiser and chairman of the Republican National Committee, who taught the casino owners how to gain political power, has retired as the head of the American Gaming Association.

Frank J. Farenkopf Jr. retired at the end of June as president and CEO of the American Gaming Association. He had headed the organization since 1995 when it opened its Washington, D.C. office. George Freeman is now the president and CEO. The commercial casino industry had gross gaming revenue of $37.34 billion in 2012. The gaming equipment manufacturers’ output was $13 billion in 2012.

Some of the top U.S. casino companies are coming under closer scrutiny for their operations in Macau, China. Las Vegas Sands Corp., MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts Ltd. are part of the surge in gaming in Macau, a $38 billion revenue winner. Last week, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a congressional advisory group, heard testimony on the risk of money laundering and the need for stricter scrutiny of Macau operations.

The association spent $2.5 million lobbying during 2012 and reported spending $551,448 lobbying in the first quarter of 2013. Their in-house lobbyists included Farenkopf, Dorothy Jackson and Askew Whitaker.

Farenkopf moved money to other lobbyists to be on the association’s team. In the first three months of 2013 contracted lobbying firms included: Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP $50,000 (lobbyists were Elizabeth Gore, David Cohen, William Moschella, R. James Nicholson, and Harold Stratton); Fierce Isakowitz & Blalock $50,000 (lobbyists were Aleix Jarvis, Billy Piper, Danielle Maurer, Kate Hull, Kirk Blalock, Kristen Chadwick, Mark Isakowitz, and Mike Chappell); Elmendorf Ryan $30,000 (lobbyists were Syeven Elmendorf, James Ryan, Stacey Alexander, Robert Cogorno, Kristina Kennedy, Barry LaSala, Shanti Stanton, and Pat Bousliman); Holland & Hart LLP $20,000 (lobbyists were Steven Barringer and Kelly Johnson);Paul Laxalt Group $10,000 (lobbyists were Paul Laxalt and Tom Loranger); Ropes & Gray LLP $20,000 (lobbyist was David Stewart);American Continental Group $20,000 (lobbyist was Manus Cooney); and Hogan Lovells LLP less than $5,000.

The association has a small federal PAC that has raised and spent over $500,000 from 1995 to the present. In that time frame the association also gave $407,130 to Section 527 political organizations.

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