LONDON, November 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Sheldon Adelson CEO of Las Vegas Sands is not a fan of online gambling. The genre is so distasteful to him that he is willing to spend a lot of money in order to support a ban on it. For this purpose, he has hired several people to lobby Congress, and one of those people is the former governor of New York George Pataki, reports Casino UK.
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131031/649181 ) Adelson would like everyone to believe that his Coalition to Stop Online Gambling is a purely altruistic endeavor. According to Adelson, online gambling wouldn't significantly interfere with his business because he makes a majority of his money in Asia. He has stated that the problem is that online gambling is "fool's gold." In an article that he wrote for Forbes magazine, Adelson wrote that online gambling threatens American society. He also stated that children and young adults are particularly vulnerable to the perils of online gambling because they are already so addicted to video games and that the poor are unfairly targeted. Adelson's top political advisor Andy Abboud said that he has never known Adelson to be more passionate about a subject than this one. Although Adelson denied that his business interests would be affected if online gambling were to be legalized, he did write in his article that online gambling would take money from land-based casinos. He specifically mentioned Native American casinos, but it would make sense that other casinos would be affected as well, including those owned by Adelson. Adelson may have inadvertently expressed his true feelings in his Forbes article. The truth may not be that he is overly concerned for the poor and young people. Rather, he may be willing to spend millions of dollars to keep people from gambling at home for his own advantage. Without online gambling, the only choice people would have is to go to the casinos if they want to play poker or other games, and this would benefit Adelson. Online gambling is expected to be a $50 billion dollar industry if it is legalized across the country. Adelson's hope is that there will be a nationwide ban on the practice. Currently, the state of Nevada has online gambling available through Ultimate Gaming, and the company's chairman Tom Breitling has plans to expand into the New Jersey market. If all goes as planned, he will be able to take his operations to Pennsylvania and California as well. According to Breitling, legalized online gambling in the United States would be a positive thing for everyone and not the "toxin" that Adelson claims it would be. According to Breitling's estimation, online gambling is a multi-billion dollar industry that Americans have been missing. Over the past 10 years, illegal offshore gambling took billions of dollars outside of the United States. With legalization, the federal government would benefit in tax revenue, and people would profit from a chance to make real money online. The concerns that Adelson voiced for children do not apply to Breitling's business. Ultimate Gaming has a system in place that ensures that everyone who visits the website is exactly who they say they are. This means that they must prove that they are at least 21 years of age. The system also ensures that everyone who wishes to gamble online is in the state that they say they are in. According to Breitling, Adelson's worries will not be an issue if online gambling can be legalized from state to state. Breitling was asked in an interview to comment on the extreme effort that Adelson is putting forth to ban online gambling. To that effort, Breitling only said, "Prohibition doesn't work."