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Presidential candidates not afraid of gambling

The Democratic and Republican presidential hopefuls are paying a lot of attention to Nevada, one of the early primary states.

Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) have all made recent visits to the state to raise money and meet with donors.

"We've had more presidential candidates here in 30 days than we had in 30 years," Sig Rogich, a Republican consultant, told The Los Angeles Times.

According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, gaming interests donated $19 million to federal campaigns in the late 1990s. The tally is now up to $50 million, the center said.

McCain, the former chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, won't take money from tribes but has accepted donations from tribal lobbyists and gaming companies. As a Mormon, Romney opposes gaming and recently took credit for blocking a tribal casino in Massachusetts.

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Nevada's gambling industry raises its presidential ante (The Los Angeles Times 6/10)