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Billionaire Sheldon Adelson Attempts to Outlaw Online Casinos

Sheldon Adelson Hopes to Permanently Ban Online Gambling

American billionaire Sheldon Adelson has made a fortune with his brick and mortar casinos owned through his Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Now, he hopes to do better still by continuing his crusade, along with members of the Republican Party to whose campaigns he’s donated millions of dollars, against online gambling in the US.

Online gamblers in the US have certainly had their fair share of troubles, not the least of which was the cancellation on April 15, 2011–a date known as “Black Friday” among the Poker community–of all real money accounts on the following sites:

  • Pokerstars.com
  • Fulltiltpoker.com
  • Absolutepoker.com
  • and Ultimatebet.com

Adelson, whose net worth is currently valued at over $40 billion, has been attempting to inspire a similar shutdown of online casinos with his Coalition to Stop Online Gambling, driving even more Americans into Las Vegas and Atlantic City. So far, he has been successful in shepherding two bills into Congress (one in the House of Representatives, the other in the Senate) proposing to overturn the Department of Justice’s decision that the Wire Act–a law that prohibits the operation of US betting businesses–did not apply to online casino gaming.

The bills have a miniscule chance of passing through both houses, however, let alone escaping President Obama’s veto pen. With more and more states accepting iGaming and online gambling, and with major companies like Virgin opening up their own hugely successful online casinos, the popularity of online gambling will almost certainly continue to increase. Even online poker exists in the US on sites like Carbon Poker and Bovada; the latter site incorporates poker into its comprehensive sportsbook and casino, and has thrived for many years despite persistent attempts to shut it down.