Sheldon Adelson On The Warpath To Get Online Gambling Banned
One of the richest and most controversial figures in the gambling industry is that of billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Whatever you think about the 80 year old casino mogul, you cannot ignore his views and deep pockets which make him an enemy you do not want to have lobbying against you.
Adelson is reported to be worth over $35 billion and is said to be in the top 20 most wealthy Americans. Although he is heavily invested in casinos all around the globe, Adelson is notorious for being one of the fiercest anti online gambling opponents around. Unlike his rivals MGM Resort and Caesars Entertainment who are pushing for widespread legalized online gambling in the U.S. , Adelson has in the past termed online gambling a “fool’s gold” and believes it is dangerous to society and will harm the traditional casino industry.
With three U.S. states already offering legal online gambling and others eager to follow, Adelson is on the warpath to do his best to ensure that this does not spread to other states. He is reportedly preparing an aggressive and well-funded public campaign in which he is seeking to point out the perils of online gambling which include the dangers to children, the poor and many others who would be lured by the ease of access internet gambling offers.
With funding not an issue, Adelson has hired lobbyists and top public relations experts in Washington to fight his case which is purported to be one of the hottest lobbied debates. Adeslon also intends in January 2014 to create an advocacy group called the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. This group will reportedly include experts who will warn of the potential dangers or children accessing online gambling as well as other groups vulnerable to the temptations of internet gambling.
According to people surrounding the casino mogul like his top political advisor Andy Abboud, Adeslon is passionate about this issue and is focusing on it daily with his advisors. Abboud was even quoted as saying,” In my 15 years of working with him, I don’t think I have ever seen him this passionate about any issue,”
While going against such an influential and wealthy opponent, online gambling supporters are not giving up easily. Executive director of the Poker Players alliance, John Pappas was quoted as saying,” We don’t make a habit of picking fights with billionaires. 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 U.S. online gambling debate is set to intensify with this latest development. The question remains however is even with all his billions of dollars invested in lobbying, can Adelson stop the momentum that online gambling in the U.S. is enjoying? We look forward to cover this developing story.