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Sheldon Adelson's Anti-Online Poker Stance Spreads To His Own Brick And Mortar Cardroom

Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza Cut Down By Space Constrictions, PokerNews Barred From Covering Event

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Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon AdelsonLas Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson has done nothing to shed his reputation as poker’s public enemy no. 1 ever since he announced that he was “willing to spend whatever it takes” to thwart online poker legislation in the United States.

Adelson, who formed the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling in January, has made it abundantly clear that he has has a moral and financial problem with online poker, claiming it preys on vulnerable people and children. His group even drafted a bill that would stop the spread of state-by-state online poker regulation.

The only problem is that Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corporation owns the Venetian Hotel and Casino, which runs of of the largest poker rooms in the city. In the past, he’s allowed the room to operate to its full potential, but now, it appears as though he’s taking a stand.

Earlier this week, the Venetian unexpectedly canceled an option that would allow poker media company PokerNews to report live updates from a Mid-States Poker Tour event on the property. Although PokerNews is a principal sponsor of the tour, they were not permitted to cover the tournament, which was running as a part of the Venetian’s quarterly Deep Stack Extravaganza series, because the site promotes online poker.

Although the Venetian declined to comment on the situation, there are other signs that Adelson is scaling back poker at his property. Last year, the Venetian utilized the neighboring Palazzo Hotel and Casino to expand the number of tables from 59 to 119, making it the second largest tournament series in the city. This year, despite an ambitious original schedule, the Venetian has been forced to restrict the series to the poker room.

The Sands Poker Room At The VenetianAs a result, players are being shut out of tournaments due to an earlier registration deadline and encroaching cash game tables. When the WSOP is not in full swing, the Venetian operates the largest poker room in Las Vegas, with almost twice as many tables as their nearest competitors.

“I simply have no room to keep registration open as late as you would hope,” wrote Venetian Tournament Director Tommy LaRosa in a thread about the series. “There would be no room to fit additional players. I would love nothing more than to keep registration open until dinner break, have 1,000 player fields, maximize revenue and prize pool. Unfortunately though, I do not have 400 tables like the WSOP.”

Once considered empty threats from a disgruntled billionaire, Forbes is now reporting that Adelson is actually winning his war against online poker. The story points to sluggish existing markets in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey, as well as the fact that the American Gaming Association has stopped supporting online poker.

However, there has been some momentum building in California in the last few days. Although they would like to exclude PokerStars from re-entering the U.S. market, a group of 13 Native American tribes have agreed on a bill that would bring online poker to the state. PokerStars and their cardroom partners have since fired back, but the debate only proves that there is still plenty of interest in a licensed and regulated online poker industry, especially in the U.S.’s most populous state.

 
 
 
 

Comments

Barry2
over 7 years ago

I am headed to Vegas for the series and I will never ever play at any of Adelson's properties. Please do the same, this guy is a hypocrite.

 
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Don2
over 7 years ago

Good for you! I will have nothing to do with the Venetian or Palazzo until they knock off the nonsense.

 
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Tj3
over 7 years ago

They don't care. Poker isn't the fight for the lowlife, it is all casino gaming online. When the fish can play in bed or play at the venetian, they will play in bed.

 
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Tj3
over 7 years ago

Online -ev games is what scares the crap out of them.

 
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