The future of online gambling in the United States is thrown into doubt as Sheldon Adelson, gambling’s biggest boss comes out in opposition to its legalisation.
The problem with online gambling that is troubling multi-millionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is that he does not believe that people under the legal age for gambling can be effectively prevented from taking part by existing online casino software. He holds the view that gambling is not something young people should take part in. In that he is quite right. What he may not be right about is the ability of the latest technology to prevent underage gamblers from gaining access to casino websites.
The 78 year old head of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, who is also listed in Forbes as being the 16th most wealthy man in the world, could throw a big spanner into the works of those working hard to put legislation into place to make online gambling a legal activity in the United States. His stance may be a personal one that is not part of any formal company strategy, but with his not inconsiderable wealth and position to leverage, he could cause problems to the current move to change the online gambling laws.
Adelson’s public declaration comes at a time when the majority of land-based gambling establishment owners are turning their attention on the profitability angle of a legalised and regulated Internet gambling industry. Big names in the entertainment industry such as Donald Trump and Harrah’s have been making positive moves in preparation of what is believed will be a shift in thinking on the matter. Large foreign operators such as Ladbrokes and Bwin.Party are preparing the way to enter the market as soon as the green light is given.
Despite the potential problems that Adelson may be capable of causing to hopeful online poker players, the real issue preventing the passing of an online gambling bill is not the opposition that stands in its way. It’s the glaring lack of any truly viable proposal for the legalisation of online poker that stands any chance of making it through the legal corridors of government.
So far, there have been several attempts made by different parties to produce a compelling enough Bill that might stand a chance of making its way through Congress. Unfortunately, none of them have made it very far before failing. With online poker’s greatest advocate, Rep. Barney Frank announcing his imminent retirement from politics, poker players and the online gaming industry are left with even fewer chances to turn their dreams into reality.