We hope you enjoyed the break. For about four weeks, the online poker industry didn’t have to hear about Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson‘s one-man crusade to rid the United States of internet gambling forever. However, according to TownHall, the ageless wonder is back, and the chalkboard-scratching is louder than ever.
TownHall explained in an article published on Wednesday, “Adelson (pictured) received a private briefing with Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee in the second week of January. The meeting sends a strong signal that the billionaire, who is one of the most generous contributors to Republican candidates and campaigns ever, will not retreat away from his desire to outlaw legal and regulated internet gaming by the states.”
The site continued, “Sources familiar with Adelson’s lobbying describe the meeting as both a strategy session and an update for the gambling mogul.”
Adelson has said he’d spend “whatever it takes” to rid the US of the evil that is online gambling. He recruited minions like Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and created the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. One of his minions even called those who gamble online “chumps” like we were on some schoolyard playground.
According to the Poker Players Alliance, we were dangerously close to seeing Adelson’s legislation passed at the end of the 2014 Congressional session. Seemingly, poker players can thank House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA, pictured), who despite championing the UIGEA nine years ago, turned down Adelson’s requests for a hearing during the lame duck session. According to TownHall, Goodlatte is a staunch proponent of the Tenth Amendment and considers Adelson’s bill a threat to it.
Speaking of the PPA, the organization’s Executive Director, John Pappas, told PocketFives on Wednesday, “The TownHall article underscores the unseemly nature of our opponent’s advocacy. Flexing political muscle for policy gains is not the type of governance the American people expect or respect. Congress should have a public discussion on the merits of public policy, not private meetings with political mega-donors.”
According to TownHall, Adelson spent more than $90 million toward GOP candidates and causes in 2014. His casinos include the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas and Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania. Why anyone would play at or visit any of these casinos is beyond this author’s comprehension.
We’ll keep you posted on the latest poker legislation news.