Casino companies, like all companies, are subject to myriad federal and state laws governing their involvement in political campaigns. Federal campaign laws are common to all corporations and restrict or prohibit both hard and soft money contributions to candidates for federal office or used to influence federal elections. Likewise, most states have campaign laws that may restrict or prohibit the involvement of corporations in state or local elections.
Unlike other corporations, however, casino companies and their officers, employees, directors and some shareholders also may be subject to special state campaign laws that apply only to casinos. For example, New Jersey has a policy preventing certain casino personnel from contributing to state political campaigns or even from soliciting others to contribute to such campaigns. The purpose of this ban is to isolate the state’s gaming industry and diminish its ability to influence the political
process. Persons included within this prohibition are applicants for or holders of a casino license and any of their holding, intermediary or subsidiary companies; any officer, director, casino key employee or principal employee of any of these companies; or any person or agent acting for any of these companies or persons.
Violations of campaign laws can have serious ramifications for casino companies. On the federal level, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has exclusive jurisdiction over the civil enforcement of the federal campaign finance law. Enforcement actions are initiated by FEC staff or by complaints filed by outside individuals or groups. If alleged violations are substantiated after investigation, a corporation could be subject to a significant fine.
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