Washington, DC – Today, 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 while there.
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.
Remember, failing to disclose income to the public is exactly what got Sen. Ted Stevens indicted–it’s a federal crime and it’s no laughing matter.
It looks like the gamblin’ man just took one too many rolls of the dice.