The Washington Post reported on Sunday that plans for a public campaign that shows online gambling as being "a danger to children, the poor, and others who could be exploited by easy access to Internet betting" is in the works by billionaire Sheldon Adelson.
Of course Adelson is a gambling mogul. He is the chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., along with owning and operating The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino and The Palazzo Resort-Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Sands Macao, The Venetian Macao Resort-Hotel, and Sands Cotai Central in Macau, and Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. His stand against online gambling could be taken as true concern for the less fortunate if he weren't reaping the rewards of owning casinos around the world.
MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment — Adelson's competitors — are ready to launch in Nevada and New Jersey and believe that regulated internet gambling can be done safely.
Eighty-year old Adelson has gone to war by hiring lobbyists and public relations experts in Washington and state capitals nationwide to carry his voice through a large, national debate in 2014. His plans include launching The Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. The group will include advocates for children and "others" who are considered "vulnerable to the temptations and potential harms of online betting."
The Washington Post goes on to state that Adelson's advisers say he is so focused on the cause that he talks about it every day with his staff.
"In my 15 years of working with him, I don’t think I have ever seen him this passionate about any issue,” Andy Abboud, Adelson’s top political adviser told the Post.
John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, doesn't believe that Adelson's ability to access a never-ending stream of funds will produce victory for the opposition.
“We don’t make a habit of picking fights with billionaires,” he told the Post. “But in this case, I think we’ll win, because millions of Americans who want to play online will oppose this legislation, along with dozens and dozens of states that want the freedom to authorize any kind of gaming they see fit.”
The Center for Responsive Politics reports that Adelson donated approximately $100 million to various Republican candidates during the 2012 presidential election. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a leading candidate for the GOP in the 2016 presidential election, plans to utilize online gaming to revive Atlantic City. A legal, regulated online gaming launch in New Jersey is set to open the virtual doors on November 26th.
Image courtesy of Business Insider.