Billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has spent over $1 million lobbying against online gambling. Newsweek contributor Leah McGrath Goodman recently published an article on the state of the online gambling industry. Goodman’s post was clearly slanted against the online gambling industry. She referenced Adelson’s role in trying to ban online gambling and argued all companies advocating for regulation had an agenda. However, her post wasn’t well received by Newsweek readers.
A number of commenters were highly critical of her position. A few even accused her of working for Adelson. Their responses show that many citizens are opposed to Adelson’s efforts to ban online gambling. Chris Grove of Online Poker Report even wrote a follow-up post to Newsweek, raising 11 different problems with their arguments. Additional industry commentary followed by John Mehaffey, PPA , Robert DellaFave and Donnie Peters.
The replies to this post underscore public opinion on online gambling. A December poll from Reason-Rupe shows 65% of Americans support legalizing online poker. Only 32% felt online poker should be banned. Despite Adelson’s efforts to deter people from online poker, the public still holds a favorable outlook towards it.
Support for online poker has grown in New Jersey since the market was launched last November. The public is expected to hold a more favorable view of online gambling as other states expand it, which could make it more difficult for Adelson to campaign against it.
However, the public view on online gambling isn’t ultimately important. The decision to reinstate the Wire Act’s authority to ban online gambling will be left to federal lawmakers. Few lawmakers have shown support for Adelson’s proposals, but that could change in the coming months. The Poker Player’s Alliance is urging citizens to speak to their congressmen to show support for online poker. State lawmakers from New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware are also speaking with their federal counterparts to vote Adelson’s bill.