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Adelson's Anti-Web Poker Group Pens Draft Of Bill That Could Stop State-By-State Legalization

Billionaire Wants To Revise Wire Act To Prohibit Online Poker

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As promised, Sheldon Adelson — well not really him but his army of employees — has began 2014 by vigorously fighting against the spread of legalized online gambling in the United States. Last year he announced that he would spend whatever it takes to thwart efforts by rival companies and pro-web gambling lawmakers everywhere.

Just two weeks in the new year, and a draft of a federal bill that Adelson’s camp authored has surfaced, according to reports.

The bill calls for the strengthening of a law that would stifle state efforts to authorize web gambling within their respective boarders. In late 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice issued its rereading of the 1961 Wire Act to mean that states could take up the activity as long as it was conducted intrastate. Adelson hopes to re-write that law to explicitly prohibit such activity.

It is widely assumed that a federal bill to authorize online poker nationwide is, and has been for quite some time, drawing stone cold dead. A bill prohibiting it is also very, very unlikely, regardless of how much Adelson is willing to spend.

New Jersey lawmaker Ray Lesniak, who spearheaded his state’s entry into the online gambling realm, told Card Player late last year that Adelson’s efforts are doomed.

“There is no way Congress is going to shut the doors on New Jersey after we are generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from Internet gaming,” Lesniak said. “There is no way Congress would shut that down…I don’t believe there is any way Congressional representatives would do that to other states.”

The bill from Adelson’s “Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling” has not yet been introduced. It’s unclear when — or really if, too — it will be.

Now, Adelson is lobbying against online poker while the casino industry’s top lobbying group on Capitol Hill, the American Gaming Association, which Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. happens to be a member of, is lobbying hard for online poker legalization. So there is a very expensive lobbying battle going on, one that is very contradictory.

Adelson has said he is worried about minors playing and also that widespread online gambling will hurt the brick-and-mortar side of things. Both arguments have been contested, but Adelson might not be completely wrong. Online poker advocates have admitted that a 100-percent success rate of keeping minors off the sites is impossible (it is worth noting that brick-and-mortar casinos don’t always keep them out, either). The jury is still out on his second point, since state-sanctioned online gambling is still in its infancy in the U.S. Though, some would point to the fact that the online poker boom starting around a decade ago did increase the interest in playing live poker in casinos. So, it has been proven the two can feed off each other, but that could be game-dependent. Slots are far and away the top moneymaker for casinos.

At any rate, Adelson’s efforts with the most impact could very likely be at the state level, as many in some states have fought long and hard to authorize online poker without much success. It seems fair to say Adelson could prevent things from progressing.

 
 
 
 

Comments

jspencer612
7 years ago

Instead of spending millions on that why don't you find a good charity to donate that money to.

 
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steved03
7 years ago

Wake up people! We need to boycott this A - Hole's Venetian poker room. Stop contributing to his bottom line. He doesn't need our money, and doesn't want our business, except on his terms. Screw him. If we want to play online, why let Adleson determine whether we can or not.
It's time to speak with your money. There are plenty of other, better poker rooms in Vegas. Please don't let him determine our future. Play somewhere other than the Venetian!

 
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action2111
7 years ago

Every poker player should boycott his casinos, hotels, and poker rooms. Why give him any business when he's busy trying to screw all of us? He's worth 28 billion, while ordinary poker players with a four figure bankroll struggle to make a living -- and he's trying to make it worse!

 
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Aleksey1
7 years ago

Like steved03 said, people need to stop playing at the properties he's affiliated with. What a joke this guy is.

 
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TheRaulrus
7 years ago

Sheldon Anderson does not care about the minors. He cares about the wealth of his casinos and competition from online poker might take away some of his revenue. This guy is a greedy old billionaire with no logic whatsoever about online poker and its positive effect that it can have on states revenue. Every poker player out there should boycott his place to take a stand against this clueless old fart.

 
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TheRaulrus
7 years ago

My mistake for the typo btw. "Adelson"

 
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DoubleDownNow7
7 years ago

I stopped playing at his places already, plenty of other joints in Vegas to play at.

 
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