Sheldon Adelson is actively recruiting members to join his National Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling and has found an ally in former New York Governor George Pataki.
Pataki is a national co-chair of the coalition and recently made an appearance on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart” in which he railed against Internet gambling in much the same way that Las Vegas Sands CEO Adelson has recently done. Pataki called online gambling “a terrible idea” that could severely harm the younger generation who have yet to learn limits when controlling their own behavior.
The ex-governor told hosts Emily Chang and Stephanie Ruhle that the FBI is in a bind when it comes to enforcing laws possibly related to online gambling such as money laundering. Pataki, like Adelson, points to a letter sent last September from Deputy Assistant Director J. Britt Johnson of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division to Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-Florida), now deceased, that warned of the money laundering opportunities available to the criminal element when online gambling is regulated.
“The FBI has said definitively that sophisticated technologies can be employed by terrorist groups and criminal organizations to move money undetected, conceal their physical locations, and entangle unwitting online players,” Pataki stated in a press release. “The FBI’s warning is part of a growing body of evidence that demonstrates how dangerous the expansion of Internet gambling will be.”
Adelson’s coalition continues to increase efforts at preventing online gambling regulation in the U.S. The former mayor of Denver, Wellington Webb, recently spoke out against Internet gambling by writing an op-ed in the Denver Post. Like Pataki, Webb is a national co-chair of the coalition.
Adelson is also reportedly behind a proposal to reverse the 2011 DoJ ruling that paved the way for individual states to legally offer online poker and gambling. A draft of the Internet Gambling Control Act has been circulated that aims to amend the 1961 Wire Act to include the Internet as a forbidden form of wagering.
“Congress needs to do the responsible thing to protect American families and the innocent bystanders caught up in criminal schemes online,” Pataki said. “It must restore the long-standing federal ban on all forms of Internet gambling.”