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Rumoured: Adelson Changes Mind, Gives New Hope to Federal Online Poker in US (Updated Sunday 5 PM)

One of the biggest opponents to online poker in the US Sheldon Adelson has reportedly changed his mind and will now work with Harry Reid on a bill that will regulate poker in the US according to Brett Collson.  This is a large change in mindset from the owner of the Venetian, as he has been an extremely outspoken opponent of online poker and gambling and has vowed to spend all of his fortune to make sure federally regulated online gambling doesn’t happen.

This is contingent on California failing the current online poker bill up for debate, but according to a story written on PokerUpdate just a few days ago that seems likely in the current climate.  The reason that bill failing is so important is because Adelson wants the bill to make New Jersey and Nevada the governing board for federally regulated poker in the US.  These two states are the forerunners on legalizing online poker.

The bill, which would be poker specific introduced by Harry Reid, appears to have the votes and support needed to pass before the year is out in the Senate, and with money and power like Sheldon Adelson can lend lobbying efforts can be improved from where they have been in the past.  If a bill were to be passed however, no one should expect anything to be changed at least until June of next year at the earliest as things like this take a lot of time to get running.  Nevada still only has one real money gaming site live right now, and New Jersey is at least 2 months from having anything go live as well.

With that in mind though this news is potentially game changing as Adelson had tried to make it his new passion to make sure online gambling in the US would never happen.  He is someone that has a lot of money and a lot of power, and someone that opponents of online poker would look to for leadership, because he is an industry insider, and the fact he was against online poker made them feel that he knew something that they didn’t. 

What changed his mind is still unclear, but it’s good that something did, because online poker is getting a new life after everything had appeared dead.  This story is still taking shape, but these movements are clearly ones in the right direction.  Stay abreast of the developments with updates from

Sunday- 5:05pm: The situation has continued to develop and it appears that the rumors that Sheldon Adelson has changed his mind are not true.  A source familiar with the situation actually says that he might be even more firm than he was previously about his opposition to online gaming, which includes poker.  This development pretty much closes the book on having Sheldon Adelson be a supporter of any federal internet gaming activity, for now.  

The status of the Reid bill is still unknown, so anyone hoping that federal poker will happen can still hold onto that hope.  Further, there is also a bill in the House that was introduced somewhat recently.  As more information continues to trickle in I will continue to update this article, and write new ones if the information warrants it.

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Andrew Schupick