Monday January 27,2014 : ADELSON TO ESCALATE ANTI-ONLINE GAMBLING EFFORT (Update)
Top Las Vegas Sands aide says billionaire will challenge every state that tries to legalise.
The top Nevada political journalist and television presenter Jon Ralston reports that the billionaire owner of the Las Vegas Sands land gambling group, Sheldon Adelson, intends to ramp up his campaign to have online gambling declared illegal in the United States.
Over the weekend Ralston quoted Adelson's chief lobbyist, Andy Abboud, as saying that the casino mogul is actively preparing to "block legalization state by state."
Abboud said: "We are prepared to mount full campaigns in every state where a bill is introduced to legalize any form of online gaming.
"We will also be doing education in all states to prevent the introduction of any bills."
And, he told Ralston, "We are going to make it ‘the plague."
Adelson's belligerent attitude will put him on a collision course with the American Gaming Association, a trade body for US land casino operators.
In recent weeks AGA chief exec Geoff Freeman has been outspoken in his support for a federal legalization of online gambling, and candid about his strong opposition to Adelson's well-funded campaign to revamp the Wire Act in order to specifically declare most forms of online gambling illegal.
The Association has also taken more experienced staff on board to fight its corner, including ex-Obama campaign manager Jim Messina and Sara Rayme, who joined from MGM Resorts International, which is supportive of internet gambling.
Ralston reports that the AGA's political drive has already commenced, with Rayme setting "successful ally development" as a key priority, initiating positive engagement with those lotteries, tribes, financial services' organisations and others who oppose a federal prohibition of online gaming.