Sheldon Adelson Continues Anti Online Gambling Tirade
The fallout of Sheldon Adelson’s comments in the Washington Post continues to rock the gambling world. As everyone knows, Adelson has declared his intention to create the Coalition To Stop Internet Gambling advocacy group as well as hire an army of lawyers in lobbyists in an effort to get online gambling in the U.S banned. With New Jersey in their test phase, there is a growing momentum for more U.S. states to join the online gambling party.
In his first interview since the now famous Washington Post article, Adelson has spoken to Forbes magazine in which he goes on to re-iterate his determination to fight online gambling. He emphatically said,” I am willing to spend whatever it takes”. This declaration has got many casino companies pushing for online gambling expansion taking notice as Adeslon is the biggest player in the casino industry as well as being one of the richest men in the United States.
Adelson went on to rationalize his campaign by saying,” My moral standard compels me to speak out on this issue because I am the largest company by far in the industry and I am willing to speak out. I don’t see any compelling reason for the government to allow people to gamble on the Internet and nobody has ever explained except for the two companies whose special interest is going to be served if there is gaming on the Internet, Caesars and MGM.”
The article in Forbes goes into detail on why Adelson is so anti online gambling. Some of the arguments employed by Adelson are worth discussion. He believes that the younger generation would be affected by internet gambling as there is not enough safety measures that would prevent underage gambling. He went on to question whether the current technology is capable of stopping minors from gambling online.
Another interesting reason for his opposition to expanding internet gambling is that it will be “suicidal” for the U.S. casino industry in the long term. Adelson is of the opinion that thousands of casino jobs will be lost as non-branded online casinos eat into the big brand casinos where thousands of people are employed. While admitted in the short term land casinos would enjoy more revenues from their online operations, the long term effects would be devastating to the overall industry and would “cannibalize” itself.
Even more worrying for the casino industry is the effect of global social networks like Facebook and Twitter who have billions of followers. Adelson believes that should online gambling be legalized on a widespread basis, these social networks will take away business from casinos as they enjoy billions of hits a day.
Needless to say Adelson is much a lone voice when it comes to the major casino brands lime MGM Resorts and Caesars who are quick to fire back at Adelson’s fiery rhetoric. Chief executive of Caesars Acquisition Corp. said,” The suggestion that effective safeguards can’t be implemented or that online distribution is detrimental to the land-based business is antiquated and ignores the substantial technology available as well as the well-documented growth of land-based poker and successful exclusion of minors in the U.S. pre-UIGEA.”
The debate of legalizing online gambling in the U.S. and other global spots is only starting. We look forward to covering all relevant developments which are sure to keep things interesting.