In Florida, the state is getting very close to opening the door to complete casino legalization, and that fact is not overlooked by operators of gaming establishments as they have begun to play the political game with politicians.
The latest quarter has recently ended (on September 30th) and the donation numbers are staggering. $840,000 was contributed to Republican campaign accounts from people with gaming interests from around the state. By no coincidence, it is the conservative Republicans who control the legislature in Florida.
If that number is not eye opening enough, here is the number of contributions for Democrats from gaming interest people, $32,000.
The idea is that by helping these Republicans stay in office, favors and leniency will be granted when the issue of gambling expansion comes up, and it has come up often of late in the state.
Governor Crist is close to signing a compact with the Seminole Indian tribe which would allow the same Vegas style slot machines that are allowed at the states pari-mutuels, and maybe even table games such as blackjack will be allowed.
With that on the horizon, owners of the states other gaming establishments such as Jai-Alai and horse racing tracks must do everything possible to stay in the gambling expansion discussion, and by anything possible, that usually means money.
So these operators are, in essence, betting their money, that the contributions they are providing politicians will eventually lead to the legalization of expanded gambling state-wide, and not just for the Seminole Tribe.
That is one bet, that if the history of political contribution campaigns show, the gaming operators are likely to win.