WaPo: Adelson ramping up anti-web gaming efforts

In a pretty stunning piece in The Washington Post that posted late Sunday, reporters Peter Wallsten and Tom Hamburger show that Gondolier Numero Uno Sheldon Adelson hopes web gaming sinks much faster than Venice.

The willingess of Adelson, the country's largest GOP donor, to buy up Democratic talent such as ex-Sen. Blanche Lincoln is amazing, signaling his commitment to stop any DC effort. Might Justin Timberlake be next on Adelson's payroll?


----Advisers to Adelson say he is intensely focused on the coming battle and talks about it every day with his staff. He has about two dozen experts working nearly full time on the issue.

And more to come, I'd guess. Those close to him have told me for months he was growing mroe committed by the day and would not relent.

----Adelson has hired three former elected officials as national co-chairs to speak on behalf of the coalition: Wellington Webb (D), the first black mayor of Denver; former U.S. senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.); and former New York governor George Pataki (R).

The bipartisan Sheldon! Who knew?

----“This could be our ‘Joe Camel’ moment,” (Adelson's chief lieutenant, Andy Abboud) said, referring to the cartoon character that critics said was used to subtly market Camel cigarettes to kids.

That is anything but subtle.


The story prompted the American Gaming Association, of which Adelson is a member, to put out a statement early Monday morning:

Statement by Geoff Freeman, AGA president and CEO, on Online Gaming Prohibition


Time and again, government efforts to prohibit use of everyday products have failed. In 2012, Americans spent nearly $3 billion gambling with rogue offshore operators.  The Internet cannot be forced back into the bottle - nor can market demand. We support pragmatism and strong regulation of online gaming that protects consumers, prevents underage play, ensures the integrity of the games and empowers law enforcement. New government efforts to prohibit online gaming will unintentionally strengthen black market providers, create more risk for American consumers, including children, and drive U.S. jobs and potential revenues overseas.  We appreciate divergent viewpoints and welcome a healthy discussion on this complex issue.

The bad blood in the industry is evident, especially because at least two companies with massive debt, MGM Resorts and Caesars, are passionate advocates for an expanded web poker network. We are going to try to do at least one program this week on "Ralston Reports" on the issue.