One thing is certain about Sheldon Adelson.
He sticks to his guns.
The man that has irritated the poker community for years is continuing his valiant effort to ensure citizens aren’t given the right to play poker online, in a country that wasn’t built on controlling its citizens freedoms.
Adelson, the incredibly wealthy Las Vegas casino magnate, is continuing his fight against online poker in America.
This time, he’s taking his greedy act to Pennsylvania, which just so happens to be the next state in line on the verge of legalizing iPoker.
Being wealthy has its perks in America, and Adelson has no shame when it comes to using his money to try to get his way.
The 83-year old billionaire has lined the pockets of powerful politicians for years, donating millions of dollars.
The purpose of his donations is, in most cases, to support his anti-online poker cause.
As the owner of a casino mega resort in Las Vegas, Adelson doesn’t want to lose business to online gambling sites, although there is no statistical evidence proving Internet poker is detrimental to a casino’s bottom line.
New US Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, has announced his new Chief of Staff will be Dave Hoppe.
This hiring should be concerning to the poker community.
Hoppe is an avid supporter of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, an organization started by Sheldon Adelson.
Preventing anti-gambling lawmakers from getting elected is crucial to the poker industry.
Poker revenues have dropped in the United States significantly since Black Friday in 2011. Legalizing online poker across America would increase the game’s popularity.
The addition of Hoppe to Ryan’s staff is good for Adelson’s cause. Bad for poker. Politicians such as Hoppe are opposed to a poker carve-out in anti-online gambling bills. They either don’t consider poker a game of skill or don’t care.
The good news for Pennsylvania poker players is the state is getting close to passing legislation that would make licensed poker sites legal. The bad news is Adelson has already brought his anti-Internet gambling coalition to Pennsylvania to fight back.
Whether Adelson’s efforts to prevent online poker sites from legally operating in Pennsylvania will be successful remains to be seen. But, if nothing else, he could prevent poker sites from launching in the state early in 2016.
Adelson is persistent. He has, for years, strongly opposed any forms of online gambling, even games of skill, and won’t give up fighting the good fight until the federal government prevents all 50 states from legalizing online gambling.
The Venetian in Las Vegas, owned by Sheldon Adelson, has one of the most popular poker rooms in Sin City.
However, many poker players refuse to give Adelson business. It’s hard to blame them.