Video-Poker Industry's Political Giving Surges
Posted September 24, 2001 6:39 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — Video-poker interests have increased their contributions to North Carolina candidates more than fivefold in the past four years.
A campaign finance watchdog group says Monday it's a sign of the kind of influence that may show up in a fight over a state lottery.
Democracy South says candidates in statewide and legislative races received nearly $418,000 for the 2000 elections from donors connected to the video-poker industry.
The video poker industry and its lobbyists only gave 74,000 for the 1996 elections. That was before a series of events that helped expand and later restrict the gambling machines in the state.
The video poker industry is on track this year to generate $100 million from the state's estimated 10,000 legal machines.