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American Gaming Association No Longer Supports Online Poker

Group Says Industry Too Divided On The Topic

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The casino industry’s top lobbying group on Capitol Hill will no longer be in support of online gambling in the United States.

The American Gaming Association’s CEO Geoff Freeman has told The Wall Street Journal that his group cannot continue pushing the issue, citing the casino industry becoming sharply divided over web gambling as the reason.

“One of the things I’ve learned in this industry is we are extraordinarily competent at shooting at one another,” said Freeman, who has been at the helm of the AGA for less than a year. “The snipers in this industry are of the highest quality, and if you let that be the focus, we’ll kill each other.”

The AGA has dozens of members, including some of the industry’s titans. Caesars Entertainment, Boyd Gaming, MGM Resorts and Las Vegas Sands all belong to the AGA. Sands is the only one of the bunch that is opposed to real-money betting on the Internet.

Sands owner Sheldon Adelson has pledged to spend vast sums of money to try to ban online gambling nationwide, or at the very least slow its spread to additional states. Just Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have legal, and operational, online gambling of some kind.

The AGA’s new position comes just a handful of months after Freeman testified in front of federal lawmakers, arguing that online gambling should be regulated.

Earlier this year it was announced that a new group, the Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection, with backing from MGM and the AGA, would become involved with the struggle to oppose attempts at a federal online gambling ban.

“This new entity is dedicated to creating a regulated Internet gaming marketplace and preventing a federal ban of online gaming,” Freeman said at the time. “The coalition will operate exclusively at the federal level, encouraging Congress to embrace regulation as the best means to protect minors, detect money launderers and eliminate a dangerous black market.”

Right now, there is legislation in Congress that attempts to ban online gaming, as well as legislation that attempts to legalize it. Both are considered long-shots.

In the likely absence of any federal action on the issue of online gambling, states will continue to be left to themselves to decide whether online gambling can occur within their respective borders. California and Pennsylvania are just two of the many states currently pondering Internet betting.

 
 
 
 

Comments

L2K4FC
7 years ago

So annoying. Adelson couldn't be any more transparent. Land of the free, unless you like to play poker online in which case it is land of the free to be treated like a child because some billionaire douchebag doesn't want to be burdened with legitimate competition to his business. I'm surprised he hasn't been made a senator yet.

 
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blegend
7 years ago

It's such a shame that probably the only thing keeping Adelson alive is his crusade against online poker. Give it a rest already Sheldon!

 
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twister929
7 years ago

So there are laws trying to be passed to make it both legal and illegal? only in America

 
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Henny
7 years ago

Less Government! No more Big Brother! Free market blah blah! All of this!.... until they need something to suite their needs, then the government is their friend. Their cognitive dissonance is so utterly glaring that they are blind to it. Dumb turds is what they are.

 
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L2K4FC
7 years ago

Nobody in Washington or Big Business is blind to anything. They see things very, very clearly and it is all about GREED. I feel the same way at the final table. The only difference is that I'm not affecting anybody outside of the current game. These idiots are affecting everyone around them. The most annoying part is that they are claiming to do it to 'protect' minors. What a crock!!!

 
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