In what was billed as his first major speech as Frank Fahrenkopf's successor, American Gaming Association boss Geoff Freeman went to the place where Sheldon Adelson wants to build and touted what Sheldon Adelson wants banned: Web gaming.
Freeman's speech was touted in an AGA release:
In his first major speech as the new head of the American Gaming Association, CEO Geoff Freeman urged the U.S. gaming industry to embrace the opportunities created by the digital expansion of gaming and challenged federal policymakers to establish minimum standards that “make innovation possible” in what he referred to as “one of gaming’s most dynamic eras.”
Freeman’s remarks came during a keynote speech to the European iGaming Congress, a prestigious gathering of more than 1,500 online gaming professionals and executives from Europe and around the world. In his remarks, Freeman outlined his intent to drive a more proactive, aggressive and unapologetic agenda for the industry, describing his organization as “an AGA aggressively in pursuit of growth."
Whether or not Freeman is right -- I acknowledge I am a web poker player -- you can be sure that Team Adelson noticed the somewhat brazen address. Indeed, Adelson, the loudest web poker foe, has asked the Spanish government to restrict Internet gaming as he prepares to make a gigantic investment.
Adelson said, according to a casino site: “We’ve done a lot of studies in Europe, because there’s a lot of internet gaming in Europe, they are starting to allow it in the United States, we are very, very, very much against it. There’s no benefit to our society from internet gaming. The only guys…we don’t create jobs. The tax revenue from internet gaming is miniscule. It’s hardly worth the paper it’s written on. So there’s no real benefit.”
Freeman is about to get an early lesson, I'd guess, in member relations.