The Adelson casino lobby has been waging a war against online gambling for years. Sheldon Adelson is the CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation. In addition, he is one of the biggest donors of President Donald Trump.
In 2011, the Justice Department ruled that online gambling not related to sports betting doesn’t violate any federal law. However, the DOJ released a new opinion on the Wire Act that restricts all types of online gambling. The Adelson casino lobby supports the new ruling.
According to gambling news archives, the legal arguments presented by the DOJ are similar to those used by the casino lobby group. In 2017, a lobbyist sent a memo to the DOJ stating the 2011 opinion was a mistake.
Big Victory for Adelson Casino Lobby
The DOJ denied that the Adelson casino lobby influenced the reversal of their opinion on the Wire Act. However, anonymous sources from the DOJ said they received a legal analysis made by the law office of Charles Cooper on behalf of the lobby.
The new DOJ opinion is a huge victory for the Adelson casino lobby. The casino owner has spent millions of dollars on his anti-online gambling campaign. According to him, sportsbook price per player competes against Las Vegas Sands casinos in Macau, Singapore, and Las Vegas.
According to Pay Per Head Reviews, Las Vegas Sands earned $13 billion in the fiscal year ending in September 2018. Adelson’s personal assets increased to $32 billion. While other casino owners are looking into online gambling, Adelson is against it. Some casinos find sports betting a very lucrative industry.
Adelson said that his dislike for online gambling is something personal and doesn’t reflect his company’s stand. In addition, he said that the activity is a social threat that can harm poor people and children.
Although the DOJ said the previous opinion was a mistake, online gambling stakeholders will challenge the reversal in court. The Supreme Court might need to come up with a ruling on the new opinion in the near future.