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Report: Gambling interests spend heavy in Albany

ALBANY (AP) — A new report says gambling interests spent nearly $50 million on lobbying and campaign contributions in Albany since 2005 and that the flow is accelerating as New York considers the expansion of casino gambling.

The advocacy group Common Cause, which favors public campaign financing, says it tallied $40 million worth of lobbying by gambling interests from 2005 through June 2012 and $7.1 million in campaign contributions.

The biggest spenders were New York’s “racinos,” which are horse tracks with video lottery terminals. They were followed by other horse racing interests and Indian tribes.

New York’s Legislature approved a measure to amend the state constitution to allow gambling beyond Indian land. That measure requires another legislative vote before New Yorkers can make the final decision in a referendum.