Adelson 'Prepared' to Testify Against Online Gaming
Casino Owner Tells Politico in Recent Interview
Billionaire casino titan Sheldon Adelson recently told Politico that he’s “prepared” to testify to Congress that he’s opposed to the legalization of online gaming.
In early December of last year, the 78-year-old came out publicly to say he doesn’t think the technology exists to prevent underage players.
On Friday, the American Gaming Association, which is fully behind legalization at the federal level, declined to comment on Adelson.
Lawyer I. Nelson Rose, who testified on Internet gaming before Congress in early February, doesn’t see Adelson making much of a difference.
“Casino insiders know Adelson’s politics,” Rose told Card Player. “He is so conservative and such an avid Republican that he blames President Obama for the Las Vegas recession, which started under President Bush. But now everyone knows that he supports Newt Gingrich, which means his political opinions are irrelevant.”
Adelson, who has made $21.6 billion over the past three years, has given millions to the former Speaker of the House, and reportedly said he’s willing to give $100 million to put a conservative in the White House.
Adelson’s views on the Internet are in stark contrast to other members of the commercial gaming industry, many of whom are pushing for Congress to act.
In November, a House subcommittee facilitated discussion on the issue, which featured AGA President Frank Fahrenkopf and Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Mark Lipparelli.
Lipparelli is at the helm of Nevada’s efforts to establish the nation’s first intrastate online poker industry — made easier by the Department of Justice flip-flop on a decades-old law that is riddled with ambiguities. Online gaming can now become available to residents and visitors of a state.
While Adelson could testify in Washington D.C. against online gaming, the activity has already become legal in the Silver State and could be elsewhere in 2012. California, Iowa, New Jersey and Mississippi are also taking a serious look at real-money gaming in cyberspace.
Nevada regulators have hammered out rules for the industry, which include ways to prevent underage gamblers. Technology solutions for player registration are still taking shape, former Control Board Member and current 888 Poker attorney Mark Clayton told Card Player.
UNLV’s Dr. David Schwartz said that it’s likely “someone will be able to demonstrate age verification to Adelson’s satisfaction, and he may support it after that.”
With 39 tables, Adelson’s Venetian poker room is the largest in Las Vegas outside of the annual World Series of Poker.
Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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