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Gambling opponent: Gingrich weakened casino oversight in Congress

The head of a Washington, D.C.-based anti-gambling group is calling out Newt Gingrich for his role in gutting an attempt to give subpoena power to a commission devoted to examining gambling expansion in the U.S. 

"By eliminating the subpoena power of what ultimately became know as The National Gambling Impact Study Commission, Gingrich made the commission virtually impotent, allowing predatory gambling operators to totally disregard its key recommendation that states implement a moratorium on any gambling expansion,'' writes Les Bernal, head of Stop Predatory Gambling, a non-profit devoted to exposing government profit and promotion from gambling.

In his blog, Bernal quotes a 1996 Washington Post story that said that at a Las Vegas fundraiser Gingrich "recommended a substantial weakening of a bill to examine the runaway growth of legalized gambling in America."

Gingrich has been aided by one of Las Vegas' most powerful casino operators, Sheldon Adelson, who has reportedly given $5 million to the former House speaker's "Winning Our Future" Super PAC and, the Miami Herald just reported, Adelson's wife is steering another $5 million his way this week.

More from Bernal's blog:

"Today, sixteen years later, government’s partnership with casinos represents one of the biggest policy failures in modern times with little end in sight.

Meanwhile, billionaire casino operator Sheldon Adelson is Gingrich’s biggest financial backer in his bid to win the Republican nomination.

Millions of American families have tragically paid the price for what ranks as one Gingrich’s major failures as a public official."