32Red earns big in 2010; New Jersey gaming lobbyists spend big in 2010

32red-boffo-2010-new-jersey-lobbyistsIt seems 32Red can do no wrong of late. When the courts decide how much money William Hill has to pay 32Red for wasting their time on an ill-advised trademark infringement case, 32Red execs might just say ‘toss it on the pile.’ In 2010, 32Red saw profits double, EBITDA increase by 90% and net gaming win up 33% year on year to a record £16.95m. The only real down figures were in (surprise) poker, which was off 5% from 2009. Speaking to eGamingReview, CEO Ed Ware delivered his early entry for the understatement of 2011 by calling the results “particularly pleasing,” especially given the dire economic straits in the UK, 32Red’s primary market. Early indications are that 2011 will continue bringing a smile to Ware’s face, with January and February revenues up 29% over the same months in 2010.

While 32Red was doubling profits, casinos and gaming groups were doubling the amount they spent on lobbying New Jersey politicians in 2010. Of the total $65.6m spent on all lobbyists in the Garden State last year, $1.2m (1.8%) was doled out by gambling corporations and industry associations, more than twice 2009’s $555k outlay. Leading the pack was the Casino Association of New Jersey ($305k), followed by Caesars Entertainment ($287k), Trump Entertainment Resorts ($188k), Revel Entertainment ($100k) and the co-owners of the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa – Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts International – spent a total $168k ($60k of which went to the Casino Association).

While the above figures are for 2010, just last month Caesars was rumored to have spent a lot of time, energy (and presumably money) trying to convince Gov. Chris Christie to veto the state’s landmark intrastate online gambling bill. Which he did. A Caesars spokesman claimed his company’s 2010 spending was “completely transparent,” with most of the money going to issues related to Christie’s revitalization of Atlantic City, although there was an oblique reference to “issues relating to expanded gambling in other parts of the state.” You mean, like, those parts of the state that have broadband access? We mention this only in passing, but Caesars $287k lobbying budget was more than twice that of the $140k spent in 2010 by the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association (IMEGA). Ahem.