The Fight Against Sheldon’s Anti-Online Gambling Stance Gets Stronger

Published: January 20, 2014

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The American online gambling fraternity is gearing up to fight against the efforts of Sheldon Adelson to ban the activity in the country. Sheldon is the owner of the Las Vegas Sands group of land casinos. He has been one of the strongest opponents of legalized and regulated online gambling in the United States. Adelson is lobbying for a bill to clearly ban online gambling across the country and thus remove the ambiguity that presently exists in the interpretation of the current laws. He also wants to put an end to the recently started online gambling in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) and the American Gaming Association (AGA) have taken up the cudgels on behalf of the online gambling industry.

Till Adelson’s proposed legislation is brought to the Congress, he is on a mission urging state attorneys general to sign a letter banning online gaming across the country. The PPA, which has access to the letter, has said that the cleverly worded letter appears to merely seek clarification of the scope of the Wire Act. But it can be twisted to support a federal bill to ban online poker and online casino gambling nationally. The PPA points out that as yet very few attorneys general have committed to sign this letter. In order to deter the remaining from signing this disastrous document, the PPA wants every US poker player and online gambling proponent to send a Tweet to every state attorney general. The PPA says, “You can tell the AGs who have signed the letter to reconsider their position, and you can encourage those who have not signed the letter to continue supporting licensed and regulated Internet poker.” The Tweets can be sent from the PPA web site.

Geoff Freeman, chief executive officer of the AGA, was the keynote speaker at the mid-January winter meeting of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States. He used this opportunity to speak out against Adelson, whose Las Vegas Sands group is ironically a member of the AGA. Freeman said that online gambling could not be now “forced back into the bottle”. He added that online gambling exists and the questions that must be addressed are how best to regulate it so as to protect minors, prevent criminal activity and reap tax revenue. The AGA’s focus will be on preventing prohibition so that state and federal legislators can decide how best to move forward.


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