The day after it became public that billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson gave $20 million to a super PAC with close ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), three GOP senators introduced legislation that would effectively ban online gambling — a measure Adelson has long pushed for.
The super PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, backs Senate Republicans and is run by McConnell’s former chief of staff Steven Law. The group received $28 million in August — more than it raised during the entire 2016 election cycle. The vast majority, $20 million, came from Adelson and his wife Miriam. The contributions were made public on Sept. 20, per Federal Election Commission filings. The legislation was introduced Sept. 21.
The bill is a revamped version of a previous Adelson-backed measure that would ban Internet gambling. The latest version was introduced by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and co-sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah). The measure would prohibit financial institutions from processing Internet gambling transactions.
Graham in 2015 introduced a previous version of the bill, Restoration of America’s Wire Act.
Adelson is a major GOP donor and chief executive of Las Vegas Sands. In 2013, he launched a campaign warning that Internet gambling is dangerous for children.
A spokeswoman for Cotton’s office did not immediately return a request for comment Tuesday.