Saturday 10/25/2014 : KNOW YOUR ENEMY TWO
Make no mistake; Sheldon Adelson is a tough opponent.
Several astute industry observers have commented recently that there's almost an air of complacency in the online gambling industry regarding the efforts of casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson to stop internet gambling in the US in its tracks.
They warn that dismissing Adelson as an ageing technophobe averse to commercial competition is a mistake, pointing to the progress that his influence and money has achieved in the political arena since he launched his Coalition to Stop Internet Gaming activist group late last year.
The message is: Don't underestimate Adelson – he hasn't created a $34 billion personal fortune by being stupid, and he hires clever and successful people who learn from their mistakes.
They keep their arguments simple albeit frequently misleading through omissions and questionable hypothetical parables, but that can work with audiences – including politicians – that are typically only superficially aware and clued up when it comes to the online gambling industry.
Adelson's hirelings are keeping the pressure on through a steady, varied and coordinated barrage of op-ed articles, political activity, lobbying and paid advertising….and it has to be said that the industry view does not appear to be achieving competitive levels of public exposure.
Interviewed by Global Gaming Business publisher Roger Gros before a crowd of a thousand delegates at the G2E expo and conference in Las Vegas last week, Adelson used the opportunity to remind the audience that he is a self-made man from humble beginnings and remains family-oriented when not ruthlessly pursuing his business interests.
His performance at G2E suggested confidence bordering on arrogance and a determination to succeed, but also displayed a sense of humour that clearly resonated with the audience, and cast a more human light on his often demonised persona.
The part of his interview concerning his implacable opposition to internet gambling was videoed by industry expert and personality Nolan Dalla, and can be viewed here:
Dalla added his own sardonic and at times even facetious sub-titles, but the 13 minute vid gives a good idea of Adelson's ability to create audience appeal on a contentious subject.
Incidentally, fellow land casino mogul Steve Wynn, who has in the past clashed with Adelson but appears to support him on the internet gambling issue, was in the front row of the G2E audience and was acknowledged as a friend by Adelson.
The full Adelson interview by Global Gaming Business is rather longer, and embraces Adelson's thoughts on the land gambling scene and his business philosophy, dealing especially with his massively successful pioneering venture in Macau…it makes for very interesting viewing and can be accessed here: