A controversial lawsuit against Las Vegas Sands and a union-backed website is offering material for attacks against the sources of major campaign contributions to the Republican Party. A Jewish lobby group announced a petition drive and social media campaign "demanding that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and the Republican Party reject tainted contributions from Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson".
That report referred to a statement to a Nevada court by sacked Sands China CEO Steve Jacobs on June 27 that Las Vegas Sands executives and Adelson personally exerted "control and direction from Las Vegas over acts of prostitution on Sands China's properties".
His allegations include Las Vegas Sands sidelining the board of its majority-owned Macau subsidiary, violating Hong Kong Stock Exchange rules, associating with known triad members, knowingly hiring and retaining illegal labour, allowing an unlicensed junket room and other dealings that could infringe the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Sands owner Adelson has done multiple donations to Republican-linked Super PACs and non-profit groups, including $20m to the non-profit group Crossroads GPS, co-founded by former White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, and $5m each to Super PACs linked to House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Adelson and his wife have promised as much as $100m to ensure that Romney enters the White House, making the Las Vegas Sands mogul a potential target for Democrat strategists.
On June 15, McCain predicted that scandals would inevitably result from the enormous amounts of donated money now washing through the system, including "foreign money", and the "corrupting effects" on elections would make a mockery of the 2010 Supreme Court decision that ended limits on "independent political expenditure" by corporations and unions, he said.
Meanwhile, the other US operator with an interest in Macau, MGM Resorts, has been targeted by the website CasinoLeaks-Macau, an ambitious trade union-funded and controlled project that compiles data, documents and analysis on Macau's junkets.
The International Union of Operating Engineers' (IUOE) campaign covers all of Macau's gaming operators, but has singled out MGM Resorts, demanding in writing that its independent directors probe subsidiary MGM China's dealings with the Suncity junket over alleged triad links. Suncity also operates at Sands China and Wynn Macau casinos.