Billionaire casino interests have dropped large amounts of money in the final weeks of the primary runoff campaign to help House Speaker Dade Phelan and some of his allies.

Earlier this month, the Texas Defense PAC was created and started advertising for embattled House incumbents including Dade Phelan, Justin Holland, John KuempelFrederick Frazier, as well as John McQueeney, who is running in an open race.

David Covey, who is running against Phelan, immediately focused on the group’s then-treasurer, Andrew Cates, whose lobby firm had previously received payments from liberal groups such as Texas Blue Action Democrats and Mothers Against Greg Abbott.

While Cates was quickly removed and replaced as the PAC’s treasurer, the source of the group’s funding was unknown until now.

New campaign finance reports released today reveal the Texas Defense PAC is wholly funded by Miriam Adelson, the owner of the Las Vegas Sands casino group.

Adelson’s contribution was over $9 million, with the PAC reporting spending of more than $3 million by May 18, the end of the reporting period.

Monied casino interests have been targeting Texas to bring casinos to the state.

McQueeney, who is running for the open seat being vacated by State Rep. Craig Goldman, was the biggest recipient of Texas Defense PAC’s funds, receiving nearly $1.3 million. The other four candidates received around half a million dollars each.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens