Steve Wynn Doesn’t Believe in Internet Gambling
At the G2E conference this past week, NBC News reporter Jane Wells was able to sit down and talk with Wynn Resorts Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn for an exclusive interview. She took the chance to ask if he believed in Internet gambling.
“No,” he stated, quickly and confidently. When asked why, he elaborated.
“Three reasons. First of all, I don’t think that the government could keep their hands off of the money, if you did make it, when they could see every nickel. They’d count your money, and jealously, abscond with it. Secondly, there is no sympathy in the House of Representatives to do it, so based upon my own insights, I think it’s unlikely to be legalized nationally. And if there was ever a chance, every one of the states that have a lottery are crying and starved for revenue, and the state lottery directors and attorney generals will hijack that business, it won’t be a private enterprise. And finally, like Sheldon Adelson, I believe something will go wrong with kids underage gambling. We don’t allow that here in the land-based buildings, and we’re held to strict accountability by the regulators. But on the Internet, such control is not possible, although they’ll give you a whole story about the protections they’ve built in, but it’s not possible to ensure that children don’t play, and if they use their parent’s credit card and there’s a scandal, there’ll be a flood of new regulations, and they’ll spill over onto us, where we don’t have the problem, but we’ll be victimized by some politician with his head up his butt, who decides that we need more regulation – and kill jobs, and kill opportunity, and create heartburn for us that we don’t need.”
Okay, let’s take a second to digest all of that. I realize it’s a spoonful, but it’s the only thing that was served to us, so let’s take a second to process that and digest it. Ready? Okay.
At this point, a billionaire casino owner talking about the horrors of Internet gambling is nothing new. It’s a bit like a scuba diver coming up for air after discovering that water is wet. The problem is that the argument is so irrelevant and so outdated that it doesn’t work, yet it’s continually fed to us.
To his first point, that may be the case, but it may not be. We can sit here and play the hypothetical game all day long. There’s an infinite number of things that could happen and things that couldn’t happen. To his second point, he can’t speak for the House of Representatives. He’s a casino owner. Unless he’s personally passing money to them, he doesn’t know what they’re thinking and how they feel about it. It’s already legalized in three states, and more are on the way. As far as the lottery issue goes – this has yet to become an issue, and honestly, at this point, it feels like he’s grasping for straws on the issue.
The final point is something that I disagree with so vehemently that I needed to start a new paragraph. Internet gambling has been legalized in three states. Please, find me an instance where this has been an issue. Go ahead. I’ll take a five minute break and let you Google it. In fact, I’ll give you an hour, because it hasn’t happened. This is classic fear mongering where they paint this dystopian future where people live in shells of houses, people are holding signs on the street saying “will work for food”, and the United States falls to the ruling of another country, all because we legalized online gambling. It’s such an unfathomable stretch for this argument that it honestly gave me a headache to read.
The bottom line is this – the casino industry is trying to protect their investments. They know that, given the choice, people are much more likely to spend their money on a site that offers a no deposit bonus than get up, drive to a casino, and test their luck there. The disheartening thing is that they’re worried about protecting their butts so much that they aren’t seeing all of the good that online gaming could do. There’s so many things that could be funded thanks to the extra revenue online gambling would bring in. It’s just such a shame that they only care about themselves.