Billionaire casino honcho Sheldon Adelson and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling have announced a new approach that will take aim at individual states that may be considering online poker and gambling legislation.
So says Andy Abboud, the Las Vegas Sands Vice President of Government Relations and Community Development who has been anointed chief lobbyist for Adelson in his crusade to wipe out online gambling in the U.S. Many will recall that Abboud testified rather unconvincingly before a House subcommittee last month that debated “The State of Online Gaming.”
“We are prepared to mount full campaigns in every state where a bill is introduced to legalize any form of online gaming,” Abboud told Jon Ralston of Ralston Reports. “We will also be doing education in all states to prevent the introduction of any bills.”
The coalition’s attack on online gambling at the state level complements its war on the federal level that included the recent drafting of an Internet Gambling Control Act that seeks to overturn a 2011 DoJ decision that paved the way for states to enact online gambling legislation. Adelson has previously vowed to spare no expense in his campaign to influence lawmakers to see things his way.
Abboud was one of a handful of witnesses who provided testimony Dec. 10 at a House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade hearing that centered around online poker legislation introduced by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas). Abboud’s stance on behalf of Adelson was cited by at least two lawmakers as being hypocritical. Adelson has made his fortune operating casinos located throughout the world.
The American Gaming Association and Poker Players Alliance have increased efforts to promote online poker and gambling legislation in response to Adelson’s recently-formed coalition. It appears as though a full-scale war is developing, as Abboud mentioned an approach designed to “block legalization state by state” and further added that “we are going to make it [online gambling] the plague.”