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Sheldon Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG) released a video that takes a potshot at Pennsylvania Representative John Payne for his efforts in pushing for online poker and gambling legislation.

The video lets loose with the typical rhetoric spewed by Adelson and the CSIG, claiming that gaming sites prey on children to gamble online by using enticements such as “Disney-looking cartoons.” Parents concerned about their kids running amok at Internet gaming sites have other fears as well, according to the 32-second video, because grandma and grandpa “are especially vulnerable to the promises of big money payoffs.”

The CSIG calls out Payne specifically, telling viewers that the Pennsylvania lawmaker is “working hard to legalize predatory online gambling.” Payne serves as chairman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee and is leading the way in attempting to get an igaming bill approved.

New Hearing Date

That committee was scheduled to conduct a hearing on online gambling on October 21, with rumors circulating that a vote would be taken on an igaming bill introduced earlier this year. The hearing was cancelled at the 11th hour and was instead pushed to Tuesday, October 27, where gaming committee members will be joined by the Senate Finance Committee for a “Joint Public Hearing on Exploring the Potential of Online Lottery/Gaming in Pennsylvania.”

The Finance Committee is involved in the new hearing date because Pennsylvania faces a reported $2 billion budget deficit and online gambling regulation is seen as a possible way out. That led to the release of the CSIG video because Adelson, chairman of the Bethlehem Sands in the Keystone State, realizes that Pennsylvania legislators are becoming more serious about approving online gambling legislation due to the budget shortfall.

The Gaming Oversight Committee has other hearings on its agenda, some of which may give the billionaire octogenarian further cause for concern. A public hearing on “Slot Machines in Airports” is scheduled for Monday, October 26, and “Fantasy Sports & Sports Betting” will be the topic for discussion by legislators on Monday, November 9. Ten days later on November 19, Fantasy Sports will get another look-see, as will HB 1423, a bill regarding Games of Skill.


After denouncing Payne in the video, the CSIG urges Pennsylvania citizens to call Payne’s office and tell the lawmaker that “predatory online gambling is not the answer.” Perhaps some Pennsylvanians will succumb to the propaganda dished out by the CSIG and be moved to make a call. But more than likely, most will see past the charade and realize that junior and gramps are not at risk of any predatory behavior by online gaming sites and that Payne is merely seeking ways to increase revenue for cash-strapped Pennsylvania.

In any event, the video is more of the same from Adelson and his CSIG, providing misleading information in order to sway public opinion. Perhaps a bit more creative by calling out a legislator in particular, and adding seniors to the list of those who must be protected from those nasty gambling sites.

Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.