Wednesday February 5,2014 : ADELSON FACES STRONG OPPOSITION WITH NEW COALITION
Coalition backed by MGM International and prominent politicians take on internet gambling antagonist
Politico reports a serious push against Sheldon Adelson's efforts to ban internet gambling with the launch of "The Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection" (TCCOP).
TCCOP is backed by MGM International and the former Financial Services Committee Chair, who sat during the passing of the UIGEA Act of 2006, Former Rep. Mike Oxley (R-Ohio) who will act as the coalition’s spokesman.
Other prominent supporters include Democrat Jim Messina; former Rep. Mary Bono (R-Calif.), now of FaegreBD Consulting; and Kristen Hawn of Granite Integrated Strategies.
A poll commissioned by TCCOP via North Star Opinion Research's Dan Judy and Whit Ayres at the end of January 2014, said it found 33 percent of voters "strongly" opposed to a ban on internet gambling compared to 22 percent who "strongly" supported a ban. According to Politico, of the 1000 interviews, 74 percent favour state-by-state legalization as opposed to a nationwide ban.
TCCOP will launch today (Wednesday) with an initial three-week online and print ad campaign against a federal online gambling ban. The $250 000 campaign, while focusing predominantly on Washington D.C., will also have its presence felt in Nevada.
Adelson, who pledged his substantial fortune to fighting for a federal ban on internet gambling, formed and launched the "Coalition To Stop Internet Gambling" in January finding support among a number of state attorneys
Opponents of the ban need to get vocal said MGM International’s Alan Feldman, especially considering Adelson's pledge to use his "financial largesse" to fund the campaign.
“He is using that, and he is going to use that, and we have to argue the facts on our side,” Feldman said. “He’s not making a secret of his positions. We shouldn’t be secretive about ours.”
“I think we have the best resource. We have the facts,” Feldman said. “He’s playing on people’s fears, he’s making all kinds of claims and making all kinds of accusations that simply aren’t true, so we’re going to stick to the facts and hope that the facts might win out.”
TCCOP has additionally found support from the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) who, its executive director John Pappas said, "will leverage its grass-roots network to continue to put out the message that prohibition is unsustainable".
“The concern is that a lot of money can buy you traction, and Adelson has a lot of money,” Pappas commented. “They are trying to deliver a message that misrepresents the issue, and for those of us who have been following this issue for a long time, we see through the blatant hypocrisy and misrepresentation. The average American may not be familiar with this issue at all and can be taken by some of the PR push that they are making.”