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Sheldon Adelson Hires New Lobbyists

In his thus far unsuccessful campaign to wipe out regulated online poker and gambling in the U.S., Sheldon Adelson has sought the services of a new lobbying firm.

The Washington-based Keelen Group, which lists “Coalition Building” and “Issue Advocacy” among its services, has been retained by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, according to a recent Lobbying Registration form. Adelson, the Sands’ CEO, created the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling late last year and has been attempting to build the organization ever since.

The Keelen Group will be tasked with “Monitoring Federal policy issues related to internet gambling; H.R.4301 & S.2159 – Restoration of America’s Wire Act,” per the disclosure form that was made public by The Hill. The lobbying firm’s website espouses dedication “to achieving tangible results for our clients” and keeps track of its success “by the impact we have on your bottom-line.”

Perhaps Adelson is not the ideal client for the lobbying group considering that he seemingly cares little about his bottom line as he has promised to “spend whatever it takes” to further his anti-online gambling efforts. The casino mogul can repeatedly be found near the top of Forbes‘ annual list of the wealthiest Americans.

A handful of other lobbying firms have already been hired by the Sands this year to support Adelson’s cause. That cause is behind a federal bill introduced in late March by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) that aims to overturn a 2011 DoJ decision that allows individual states to enact online poker and gambling statutes at their own discretion.

Adelson has often claimed that gaming websites cannot safeguard children from logging on and playing despite no such incidents having been reported from the legal sites operating in the regulated states of Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. Adelson is approaching his 81st birthday later this summer and apparently is among the older generation who have not fully embraced the Internet.



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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.