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Genting Spends Big Dollars on Lobbyists, Campaign Contributions for NY Casino Expansion

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Genting New York, an arm of the Malaysia-based Genting Berhad, dropped $975,000 last year on a team of lobbyists to promote casino expansion in the state, reported Free Malaysia Today.

The Seneca Nation of Indians spent $73,557 in the first half of 2011 on lobbying efforts to support expanded gaming and also protect its 14-county gaming exclusivity zone in Western New York. The Nation's second-half numbers have not been posted.

Genting trailed only behind the Seneca Nation of Indians in money spent on campaign contributions. The company contributed $96,900 in the second half of 2011 to various elected officials, party committees and a political action committee focused on expanding gaming at the state’s nine racetrack casinos, including Genting’s recently opened Resorts World New York Racino at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens.

The Seneca Nation of Indians took the lead in campaign contributions, giving $142,500 in the last half of 2011.

“We can’t begin to spend money like they are,” said Joel Rose, chairman of the Coalition Against Gambling in New York.

The high-rolling Genting may be getting its money's worth. This month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to build the country’s largest convention center next to its racetrack casino. The 3.8-million square feet center would feature 3,000 hotel rooms, restaurants and a casino. “We are pursuing a joint venture with the Genting Organization, a gaming development company, to complete this vision at the Aqueduct Racetrack venue,” Cuomo said. “It is a $4 billion private investment that will generate tens of thousands of jobs and economic activity that will ripple throughout the state. We will make New York the #1 convention site in the nation.”