Within a few days the next step in his campaign will take place when a bill to amend the 1961 Wire Act to prohibit interstate and international online gambling will be put before Congress. It is believed that Sheldon Adelson’s hope is that if the bill is passed it will prevent growth in the online gambling industry by limiting internet gambling to individual states only without the possibility of these forming interstate agreements. The proposed bill could also prevent online players in the United States from linking into international gambling operations in the future. There is strong opposition to Adelson’s campaign but he has what appears to be almost limitless funding for his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.
Sheldon Adelson increases efforts to stop online gambling
Sheldon Adelson has vowed to prevent the growth of internet gambling in the United States and is pouring money into lobbying Congress to support his opposition to online casinos. Adelson, the chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corp and one of the world’s richest men has already said that he will spend whatever is necessary to attempt to overturn the 2011 interpretation of the 1961 Wire Act. The Department of Justice opinion on the 1961 Wire Act opened the way for individual states to pass their own legislation permitting internet gambling within their own borders. Since the Wire Act was declared to have banned any wire communication between states linked to a “sports event or contest”, it was no longer illegal to engage in online gambling in states that allow this.Sheldon Adelson’s campaign to stop online gambling has gained momentum since he launched the “Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling” at the end of 2013. However despite the amount of money Sheldon Adelson is putting into the campaign, an attempt to get many attorney generals to sign an anti- online gambling letter to Congress to amend the Wire Act to outlaw internet gambling, only got 15 state general attorneys signed the letter. Last month the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling continued its campaign by airing its first anti- internet gambling television advertisement. Sheldon Adelson has stated that he opposes online casinos as there is a danger that criminals or terrorists could be involved in running these to raise money illegally. The television advertisement includes this possibility. Another reason Adelson opposes online casinos is because he believes that young or vulnerable people may be able to access them and also because online casinos could adversely affect the future of gambling in land based casinos.