Sheldon Adelson’s Anti Online Gambling Agenda Shadows 2016 Election Race
The 2016 U.S. elections are already causing politicians to duck and dive any controversial issues in order to garnet the most votes. The race for the Republican presidential nomination is particularly interesting and could potentially have far reaching consequences for the online gambling industry in the U.S.
Following the historic 2011 decision of the Justice Department that the Wire Act 0f 1961 only applied to sports betting and did not include online gambling, many states look to online gambling as a major revenue source. Surprisingly one of the main opponents to online gambling in the U.S. is casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. We have covered in detail his controversial lobbying group Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling which included him referring to internet gambling as a “fool’s gold”.
The blatant influence Adelson has on the Republican agenda is worrying. Having contributed over $100 million to Mitt Romney in 2012 towards his Presidential campaign. Adelson is promising to spend even more for 2016. This week will see all the top Republican presidential candidates coming to Las Vegas to pay homage to their political Godfather. This of course has resulted in many asking the obvious question as to how such blatant interference in political agendas are allowed.
It is hard to see how Adelson will welcome any opinion other than his own when it comes to online gambling. One of the main contenders for the Republicans is Gov. Chris Christie who will be among the candidates paying homage to their sponsor. One would love to be a fly on the wall when Adelson brings up internet gambling. Gov. Christie is one of the staunchest supporters of legalizing online gambling and it is thanks to his efforts that the Garden State is the leader in the U.S. online gambling Market. Christie is even part of the move to make New Jersey an international gambling hub by allowing global gambling companies to operate in New Jersey.
Money talks and it will be hard for the candidates to take an opposing view to Adelson. The best they can do is to try and stay out of the debate as the consensus is that most Americans do not see online gambling as a major issue and could even alienate potential voters.
It won’t take long to see how much Adelson has succeeded in getting his lackeys onboard. Industry experts however point out that even with all his millions Adelson will struggle to win over enough support to make a major move that would impact the online gambling market.