Different states have different laws related to corporate campaign donations; most of them either limit or prohibit the practice to guard against corruption or the perception of corruption. For instance in Nevada, the casino industry and its interests are part of the socio-political fabric while in other significant US casino jurisdictions, like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, have sought to limit the industry’s influence.
Michigan State Rep. Bill Sowerby believes the decision to increase the casinos political influence in his state, while simultaneously opening the door to ex-felons and decreasing background checks was peculiar.
On Wednesday, the Michigan House of Representatives passed a bill allowing commercial casino licensees and their employees to make political donations in the state. According to casino.org, the law will also allow individuals with criminal convictions to be eligible for licenses after a specific period — ten years for felonies and five years for misdemeanors — and remove the need for some background checks for individual licensees.
The new legislation is sponsored by Representative Brandt Iden (R-Oshtemo Township) and is part of a more comprehensive gambling expansion package that would also legalize sports betting, online gaming, and daily fantasy sports, which was approved by the House in October.