Sheldon Adelson’s War on Internet Gambling
Over the past year or so, Internet gambling has made huge leaps and bounds. It’s become legalized in several states, and several more are considering it, including California. It’s generated millions of dollars in revenue for the states that legalized it. However, there’s one person that isn’t okay with it: Sheldon Adelson.
Sheldon Adelson is a self-made billionaire. In fact, he’s the 8th richest person in the world, with an estimated value of $37 billion. He’s had a long, successful life. Sheldon started out by creating a candy vending machine business, soon moving on to various other businesses: selling toiletry kits, creating a chemical spray to clean frozen windshields, and starting a charter tours business. Today, he’s the chairman and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which is the parent company of the Venetian Macao Limited. If you haven’t gathered from the company’s name, they operate the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, as well as the Sands Expo and Convention Center, in Las Vegas. It goes without saying that this man has deep, deep pockets.
In his quest to stop the legalization of online gambling, he has managed to get the support of the American Gaming Association, which is the casino industry’s most influential and powerful lobbying group. He also managed to disrupt pro-online gambling coalitions.
To combat this, online sites are bringing in new customers by advertising deals, such as a no deposit bonus. New Jersey and Delaware are putting up some impressive numbers in regards to revenue that online gambling has brought in, but some say that it’s not enough.
California is going to be a key factor in the online gambling war. Sheldon Adelson is doing everything he can to stop online gambling from becoming legal in California. Tribal casinos are making an effort to prevent it as well. With California’s unbelievably large population, online gambling could easily generate hundreds of millions of dollars each month.
Though he’s not responsible for each individual setback, Sheldon Adelson has his hands in some of the largest setbacks. He’s turned Internet gambling’s biggest issues, underage gamblers and gambling addicts, into public forums. His primary fear is that if Internet gambling becomes legal, land-based casinos, such as the Venetian, would lose a lot of business.
As of right now, we’re almost at a stalemate. Online gambling has been legalized in a few states, and more states will potentially legalize it – if the movement doesn’t get derailed by people like Sheldon Adelson. However, the power of many often overpowers the power of one, no matter how deep his pockets are. The next year is going to be very important for online gambling. If it does pass in states like California, it’ll be very interesting to see Sheldon Adelson’s response.