Harrah’s Preparing Push for Internet Gambling Regulation

The gaming giant took another step in support of regulation today when it retained a prominent lobbying firm focused on internet gambling.

Harrah’s has secured the services of lobbying firm Capitol Counsel, described on its website as “a full-service, bipartisan government relations firm providing political analysis, strategic advice, and advocacy services.”

According to public disclosures, Harrah’s has retained the company for the purposes of lobbying Congress on the issues of gambling and taxation. You can view the full disclosure form (PDF) here.

The move is one in a long string illustrating Harrah’s eagerness to expand into the global stage of online gambling. Most notably for poker players, Harrah’s snagged former Party Poker head Mitch Garber in 2009 to head up their interactive (read: online) division.

Harrah’s has also launched an online poker room, inaccessible to US residents, under the WSOP.com brand.

While Capitol Counsel is the latest firm retained by Harrah’s, they’re certainly not the first; according to public records, Harrah’s has spent just shy of $1,000,000 on lobbying efforts so far in 2010.

Speculation is that Harrah’s is ramping up their efforts in anticipation of Congressional hearings for Barney Frank’s legislation aimed at repealing anti-gaming laws, expected to get underway in July.

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