Lindsey & Sheldon

With at least a dozen Republicans expected to announce their candidacy for president, the race is on to curry the favor of LV Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson, who contributes big bucks to his preferred candidate. And since South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham has carried the water for Adelson’s anti-iGaming crusade, is he the one?

Sheldon Adelson sunk more than 0 million into the 2012 presidential race, all on the side of the Republicans. So in 2016, in a race that most experts believe will be the costliest ever, the real race is to become the favorite of the Las Vegas Sands chairman so you get a lion’s share of his money.

A few weekends ago, most of the announced and unannounced candidates visited Las Vegas to pay homage to one of Sheldon Adelson’s favorite organizations, the Republican Jewish Coalition. Adelson spent a few minutes with each candidate, but no one had been designated his favorite by the end of the weekend.

But one candidate has been doing Adelson’s bidding in his war against iGaming: Lindsey Graham, the senator from South Carolina. In a blog post, a reporter with the Washington Post made the connection. Amber Phillips erroneously said that Adelson’s desire to shut down iGaming is to protect his profits at his land-based casinos (he has claimed its more a societal effort to protect children).

“He’s built a well-oiled lobbying machine to persuade members of Congress to support a ban proposal — basically, tailored-suit reminders that Adelson won’t hesitate to fund your next bajillion attack ads if you’re not on board,” wrote Phillips.

Graham has sponsored Adelson’s iGaming bill in the Senate (even though it has only had a hearing or two) and also held a dinner for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he spoke before Congress in March.

“Graham is well aware of all of this,” writes Phillips. “Anyone wanting to know whether Graham has a chance at the office he seeks should keep their eyes on this one, niche piece of legislation.”