For Immediate Release
Peter Bjork - 202.408.5565
CREW Requests Senator McCain's Failure To Disclose Gambling Winnings
WASHINGTON - oday, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
asked the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate whether Senator John
McCain (R-AZ) violated federal law and Senate rules by failing to
disclose gambling winnings on his Senate financial disclosure reports.
According to a recent article in The New York Times ,
Sen. McCain is an avid gambler, who frequents casinos as often as once
a month. The article states that in the winter of 2000, at the Foxwoods
Casino in Connecticut, "[Sen. McCain] and his entourage emerged with
thousands of dollars in winnings." Sen. McCain also reportedly spent a
weekend at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2007, playing craps
In July, Time
reported that over the past decade, Sen. McCain has gambled on
Mississippi riverboats, on Indian land, in Caribbean craps pits and on
the Las Vegas strip, allegedly playing "for a few thousand dollars at a
time." In 2005, The New Yorker reported that while in New Orleans in the spring of that year, Sen. McCain gambled at Harrah's Casino.
Federal law and Senate rules require all income to be reported on
annual financial disclosure reports. The Senate Ethics Manual states
that winnings, such as those derived from a lottery or a game show, are
gifts that must be reported as income. Knowingly filing a false report
is a crime punishable by up to five years in jail.
Nevertheless, Sen. McCain reported no income derived from gambling
on the personal financial disclosure reports he filed with the Senate
between 2000 and 2007.
In contrast, other members of Congress, including Sen. Judd Gregg
(R-NH), House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Rep. Paul
Kanjorski (D-PA) all reported winnings on their financial disclosure
CREW's executive director Melanie Sloan stated, "Given Sen. McCain's
long history of gambling, the fact that he never included gambling
income on his financial disclosure forms suggests he is either the
unluckiest gambler ever or, more likely, he failed to report the
Sloan continued, "The Senate Ethics Committee should investigate
whether Sen. McCain deliberately failed to report gambling winnings,
and if so, the matter should be turned over to the Department of
Justice for a criminal investigation."