Sheldon Adelson Declares War On Online Gambling

The billionaire casino owner says children and the poor are at risk thanks to easy access to online gambling.

Sheldon Adelson Declares War On Online Gambling
The Star-Ledger / Andrew Mills

If you're in a fight over money with billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson, he's probably not going to run out of chips — especially if his livelihood might be on the line.

Adelson tells The Washington Post he's taking on Internet gambling — calling it "a danger to society [that] could tarnish the industry’s traditional business model."

According to the Post, Adelson's "Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling" will target groups he says could be in danger with easy access to online gaming — such as children and the poor.

In 2012, Adelson and his deep pockets pushed the limits of Super PACs — throwing at least a combined $100 million behind Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and other conservative candidates and causes — many of which failed. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Bectrigger)

A writer for The Week suggests Adelson is setting himself up for another loss, "about to take on another losing issue in a fight that will come with a high price tag. ... he's up against most of his casino competitors, several states, and a handful of federal lawmakers from both parties."

We've seen Adelson protect his interests before. But he insists this fight is different and told Bloomberg back in June --

SHELDON ADELSON: "This is not a money issue with me. I think it's a train wreck. It's really toxicity. It's a cancer waiting to happen."

Online gambling recently became legal in Nevada and Delaware. New Jersey's slated to be next. And analysts predict more will join that group as Internet gambling grows into a multibillion-dollar industry. (Via KXNT, The Star-Ledger)


Those who run online-gambling companies are betting on that growth potential. When Yahoo's Aaron Task asked Ultimate Gaming chair Tom Breitling (BRIGHT-ling) whether Sheldon Adelson stands in the way — his response was this:

TOM BREITLING: "Prohibition doesn't work, OK, because 80 percent of America's connected. (FLASH) ... Customers want to play their games online."

One other thing to keep an eye on — Bloomberg recently reported American Express, Bank of America and PayPal aren't allowing online-gambling transactions.