Sheldon Adelson Under Fire For Criticizing Online Gambling

Sheldon Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp and billionaire owner of a variety of casinos angered the online gambling industry this month.  The billionaire told Forbes magazine he believes online casinos should include the slogan “click your mouse, lose your house.”

But supporters of online gambling, including proponents of a new federal online poker bill, are hitting back at Adelson.  Defenders of internet betting challenge Adelson’s hypocritical remarks, who argue that a man who made his fortune through regulated casinos and expanded gambling can in no way cry foul at betting on the internet.

Nicholas Kisberg, CEO of the online forum CardChats.com, personally addressed Adelson’s claims that regulating online poker across the US would increase cases of problem gambling.  Kisberg hit back by stating the UK is an example of a regulated online gambling market where the number of problem gamblers is miniscule in comparison to the size of the population.

According to Gamble Aware, the top estimate is around 0.9% of the UK population having a gambling problem.  The US rate? The National Council on Problem Gambling puts it at 2%-3%,

Adelson also took aim at the regulations and casino account security of internet betting sites, which Kisberg and other insiders also rejected.  Technology allows governments and regulators to validate trustworthy casinos, and restrict access to blacklisted sites.  Online casinos also utilize strict identity validation tabs, which ensure a player is of legal age to gamble.  In essence, the internet gambling market could become more secure against underage gambling than the traditional casinos that made Adelson his fortune.

Defenders of online gambling will continue to challenge Adelson on his position, but there are some in the industry who simply want the issue dropped.  Supporters of the online poker bill believe that as long as the issue remains topical, Adelson can continue making his claims.  But if people let it go, attention returns to the merits of the online poker bill.

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