December 8, 2011 : "It's a personal observation of concerns about technology," says spokesman.
The news this week that Las Vegas Sands mogul Sheldon Adelson is opposed to the legalization of internet poker has created major ripples through both industry and mainstream media, and has since been confirmed by a Las Vegas Sands spokesman, Ron Reese.
Rees told the Associated Press news agency that the world's richest casino executive and chief of the industry's largest publicly traded company is opposed to online gambling because he doesn't believe available technology is good enough to prevent young people from making wagers on the Internet.
Adelson's opposition is a personal viewpoint, not a formal stance taken by the company, Rees emphasised, revealing that Adelson has not discussed his opposition with the board of directors, and that the board has not yet decided on the company strategy regarding internet gambling legalization.
"It's a personal observation of concerns about technology," Reese said.
Adelson is out of step with the position adopted by the American Gaming Association, which is now in favour of federally regulated online poker, providing that individual states can opt out if they wish.
Frank Fahrenkopf, the AGA's CEO, told the Association that he met with Adelson on Monday and was told that the gambling magnate would oppose legalization to legalise online poker in the United States.
"Sheldon has long had concerns about this issue, and it is perfectly within his right to make this decision," Fahrenkopf said. "However, the AGA, at the direction of our board of directors, will continue to support federal legalization to allow states to license and regulate online poker."
Associated Press notes that following Black Friday, which chased the biggest online poker operators out of the US market, the AGA has become more vocal in urging lawmakers to close loopholes and craft better regulations.
Fahrenkopf said the association wants federal legalization that allows states to decide whether to offer poker to its residents, keeps kids from gambling online and lets law enforcement shut down illegal operators.