New political action committee

Nevada Resort Association creates PAC to support pro-industry legislative candidates; raises $2M

Virginia Valentine, president of the Nevada Resort Association.
Reading time 2:20 min

The Nevada Resort Association, the state’s primary trade association for major casinos, is launching a non-partisan political action committee (PAC) to support “business-minded” legislative candidates of both major parties who support the state’s gaming industry, according to a press statement released by the group on Monday.

The association, which represents about 80 casino resorts across the state, says it will be backing candidates “who understand the value of the gaming and resort industry” and recognize “the tremendous economic contributions” the sector brings to the state.

To date, the Nevada Resort PAC has raised more than $2 million from association members, according to the release. Funds will be destined “to recruit, assess, endorse and elect” state legislative candidates in 2022.

Nevada’s gaming and resort industry is the lifeblood of our state’s economy, supporting more than 433,000 jobs, thousands of small businesses, and contributing more than a third of the state’s general fund as the state’s largest taxpayer,” said Virginia Valentine, president of the Nevada Resort Association

According to Valentine, Nevada’s prosperity is “inextricably intertwined” with the success of the gambling industry, which she sees as having been evidenced by the “devastating impact” of the global pandemic.

“It’s critical that Nevada has elected representatives who value the unique role our industry plays in the economic security of every community in this state to keep our recovery moving forward,” the association president further added.

The Nevada Resort PAC will be participating in the state's electoral and political process, and is set to present “a strong, unified voice” on policies affecting the gaming and resort industry and its employees. The PAC will evaluate candidates based on their current platform, prior voting record, and alignment with the industry’s priorities.

According to the association, based on this information “and an extensive candidate questionnaire,” the PAC will then “make endorsements and contributions.” The PAC will also focus on recruiting “competitive candidates” and the support needed to win in the primary and general elections.

We’re looking for sensible individuals on both sides of the aisle who will champion issues that grow our economy, encourage economic investment and job creation, contribute to our employees’ well-being, ensure taxes are fair and transparent, and protect our state’s distinctive character as a global leader in travel and tourism,” explained Valentine.

“With an initial $2 million in funding, our PAC is well-positioned to make early investments in key races to elect common-sense, responsible candidates focused on economic issues and who will serve Nevada well,” she added.

While individual candidates are prohibited from raising more than $10,000 from a single source in a campaign cycle, state-level political action committees are allowed to raise and spend unlimited funds

In Nevada, the gaming industry is typically one of the largest political contributors to state legislators, reports The Nevada Independent, making nearly $770,000 in donations to legislators in the 2020 election cycle and $1.6 million in the 2018 cycle.

Thus far, the association has typically avoided making direct donations to individual legislative candidates: in 2012 and 2014, it contributed $50,000 to each legislative caucus. In 2014, it contributed nearly $1 million to a PAC opposing a 2014 ballot question that sought to implement a 2% margins tax on business revenue over $1 million.

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