Sheldon Adelson Anti-iGaming Efforts Thwarted… For Now

Posted on by Nick Austin

Sheldon Adelson Anti-iGaming Efforts Thwarted... For NowWith Thanksgiving arriving tomorrow, many U.S. families will share reasons why they are thankful while dining on plump turkeys and pumpkin pie.

Advocates of online poker and gambling who are hoping to see regulation spread throughout the U.S. have another reason to add to their list of gratitude. That being that Sheldon Adelson and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG) have been dealt a setback in their efforts to impose a federal ban on igaming.

Adelson was pushing for the “Restoration of America’s Wire Act” (RAWA) to get a hearing in Congress during the lame duck session before 2015. And while the billionaire casino mogul often gets his way, it appears on this matter he will not.

Rumors were flying recently that the reason that PokerStars has not yet been approved by gaming regulators in New Jersey is due to the clout that Adelson has among Republican politicians — a clout that is directly related to his deep pockets. Whether there is truth to those rumors remains a matter of speculation, but one thing is for sure, and that’s that a number of individuals and groups have recently spoken out against the 81-year-old and his efforts to ban online poker and gambling.

Former Texas congressman Ron Paul, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Governors Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Casino Association of New Jersey, and a coalition of a dozen other groups headed by the American Conservative Union and the Institute for Liberty have all voiced their opposition to the Las Vegas Sands CEO.

That coalition recently sent a letter to Congress opposing RAWA and advising that the Pennsylvania and New Jersey legislatures have drafted resolutions that do the same. Pennsylvania has progressed further than other currently unregulated states and appears poised to perhaps join New Jersey and the other two igaming regulated states next year.

The voices against RAWA have apparently been heard loud and clear –at least for now. That’s not to say that congressional committees won’t ever take a closer look at the federal bill (RAWA) proposed by Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Jason Chaffetz last March. But odds are now favorable that the calendar will turn to 2015 without that happening.

Adelson didn’t get to where he is today by rolling over and calling it quits when things don’t go his way. And his resolve to do whatever it takes to wipe out online poker and gambling is likely still intact. But for those wishing to see igaming regulation continue to move forward in the U.S., it is heartwarming to see that the CSIG has taken a hit as of late.

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