Mike Pence says he's against the gambling industry — but he's accepted nearly $2 million from it

Mike Pence.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence might say he's against the gambling industry, but his actions suggest otherwise. An in-depth report by International Business Times published Tuesday, the day of the first and only vice presidential debate this election cycle, revealed that Pence has been backed by and gotten money from numerous Indiana gaming operators and gaming lobbying firms:

Pence initially pledged to oppose efforts to grow the state's gambling industry. "I do not support an expansion of gaming in Indiana," he said in March of 2013, just two months after becoming governor. The statement won praise from a major religious group in the state. Pence also trumpeted his congressional efforts to outlaw internet gaming, and said, "I've never bought a lottery ticket."IBT/MapLight's review, however, shows that since 2011, Pence received roughly $2.2 million from Indiana gaming operators and their lobbying firms. That includes about $490,000 from nine gaming-linked lobbying firms and their employees directly to Pence's campaign; at least $360,000 more from gaming industry lobbying firms and their employees to the Indiana Republican Party; and $1.4 million from Indiana gaming interests and their lobbying firms to the [Republican Governors Association], which backed Pence's gubernatorial bids. [IBT]

With that money in hand, Pence signed legislation that gave the gambling industry a "lucrative tax cut," IBT reported — and in some instances, "the donations arrived shortly before or after governments cemented everything from road contracts to economic development subsidies to pension deals." Indiana now ranks number five among the country's largest gaming states.

Pence's 2016 spokesperson Marc Lotter maintained in an emailed statement to IBT that Pence has "held the position that gaming should not be expanded in Indiana." Head over to IBT for the full story.

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