Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson -- who spent $100 million on campaigns in the last election -- is promising to bring big bucks in his fight against Internet gambling, and he set up an interesting intraparty and intrastate battle with his choice for a spokesman.

Former New York Gov. George Pataki, the last Republican to hold that seat, will be one of three people to speak out against legalizing Internet gambling, according to a Washington Post story today.

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And that means Pataki will be on the opposite side of the table from Alfonse D'Amato, the last Republican U.S. senator from New York, who now chairs the Poker Players Alliance, which was formed as an industry group to fight for legalizing Internet gambling.

In some ways, however, Pataki is an odd choice for Adelson.

As governor, Pataki signed a bill in 2006 to allow New Yorkers to bet on horseraces using a cellphone or the Internet.

And that same year Pataki refused to extradite Peter Dicks, a former British offshore betting-company executive arrested at JFK Airport, to Louisiana, where he faced charges of illegal online gambling.

Meanwhile, the Poker Players Alliance has its work cut out for it if it wants to keep up with Aldeson: as of June the alliance political action committee had $3,861 in cash.