Paddy Power has struck a deal with Realex Payments to process the Irish bookies’ lucre across a variety of channels, currencies, regions and card types. Paddy’s rethinking a lot of payment issues these days, like the money it paid out to punters backing Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee in the US presidential election this fall. Before Newt Gingrich tossed some particularly juicy raw meat to South Carolina’s conservative base, Paddy people figured Romney was a lock and decided to pay out early. And now look at them… The poor sods are on Fox News, moaning about how they’ve already paid out $26k and could lose a further $39k if Gingrich’s comeback went all the way to the nomination. All Paddy got in return was having the number one cable news channel in the US (a market Paddy’s kinda sweet on) air a fun mention of their brand and the wacky predicaments those lovable leprechauns find themselves in every week. Well played, sirs.
Much of Gingrinch’s success in South Carolina was attributed to the negative attack ads Romney endured at the hands of Gingrinch’s SuperPAC, Winning Our Future. Much of Winning Our Future’s funding came via a $5m cash injection from Las Vegas Sands’ chairman Sheldon Adelson, who has known Gingrich since the mid-1990s and with whom Adelson shares a great deal of political viewpoints. According to numerous reports on Tuesday, Adelson’s wife Miriam has now tossed Gingrich another $5m. Last December, Politico reported that Adelson had set aside $20m to fund Gingrich’s campaign, but Adelson (or, as the Las Vegas Sun’s John Ralston dubbed him, Gondolier Numero Uno) ultimately rubbished the story.
Winning The Future also announced it has purchased $6m worth of air time in the next primary arena, Florida. An Adelson associate who wished to remain anonymous took great pains to let the Associated Press know that Miriam doesn’t want her donation to pay for attack ads. So can we expect a kinder, gentler campaign from the serial philanderer/Pillsbury poster-boy Gingrich in Florida? Doubtful. Winning The Future will claim Miriam’s dough is paying for pencils, electricity and covering Newt’s marker at Tiffany’s, while the attack ads tear Mitt a new one. Gingrich can feel Romney’s support growing shakier, and his ‘combative’ mentor Sheldon is a take no prisoners kind of guy. As Daniel Day Lewis said, there will be blood…
The Gingrich/Adelson connection has not gone unnoticed by Les Bernal, chief scold at anti-fun leaguers Stop Predatory Gambling. Bernal claims that when Newt was House Speaker back in the mid-90s, he intentionally castrated what became known as the National Gambling Impact Study Commission. The Commission was intended to examine the rapid expansion of gambling across the United States, but following a fundraiser at the Mirage in Vegas, Gingrich ensured that the Commission’s power to issue subpoenas to casino companies was reduced to the Commission being allowed to request that Congress issue a subpoena. In Bernal’s view, Gingrich rendered the Commission “virtually impotent.” We don’t want to get Freudian, but it seems Bernal really enjoys the sight of a good stiffie. Surprising, then, that he has such a problem with the enormous dick who wants to be president.