It’s Official: Sheldon Adelson Now Opposes Online Poker

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Sheldon Adelson Now Opposes Online Poker

The Las Vegas Review-Journal confirmed Wednesday morning that Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson will no longer support legalized online poker at the federal level. 

American Gaming Association President Frank Fahrenkopf Jr., confirmed in an email this morning that Adelson visited the lobbying organization's offices Monday, that paper noted

From the Las Vegas Review Journal: 

Fahrenkopf said the American Gaming Association wants Congress to modernize and strengthen the Wire Act of 1961 with conforming amendments to the 2005-approved Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

"Such action would preserve the right of states to allow or disallow online companies to offer online poker to their residents and, at the same time, ensure a consistent national regulatory and legal framework," Fahrenkopf said. "It would protect the millions of U.S. consumers already playing poker online, keep children from gambling on the Internet, and provide the tools law enforcement needs to shut down illegal online operators."

There are two bills currently being debated in Congress that could lead to the legalization of Internet poker.

Fahrenkopf has said the initiative to legalize online poker at the federal level will move forward with Nevada ultimately becoming the hub for what is now a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide.  Nevada will begin issuing licenses to operate at the state level as early as February. 

Adelson claims he is now “morally opposed”.

While Adelson’s name is widely referenced as being at the forefront of efforts to regulate Internet poker in the US, his stance has for some time been one of treading carefully.  While he has said in the past he will not try to block any bills legalizing online poker in the US, it was widely expected that Adelson would never fully back any such initiative. 

Adelson is close to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who will be important for gambling advocates to win over.  He is also among the Republican party’s biggest donors. 

Sheldon Adelson is an important figure in the international casino industry. The billionaire features among the world biggest fortunes.

Nevada has already voted to allow online poker at the state level with licenses to be issued starting in February.  The state hopes to eventually become an industry hub should federal legislation be passed.  Nevada residents will be permitted to play online within state borders for real cash money in the approaching months. 

- Chris Costigan, Publisher