I fully support the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) in its attempts to lobby Congress and state legislatures to legalize and regulate online poker. The PPA is, in my opinion, the best lobbying group available to online poker players.
I do not always agree with the actions taken by the PPA. I typically agree to disagree when this occurs. We are all in this fight together. An unusual circumstance has presented itself and I feel that it is time to speak.
PPA vs Las Vegas Sands
The PPA is fighting Sheldon Adelson’s attack against online gambling. I respect Adelson’s right to speak his mind. I am willing to grant him the benefit of the doubt there, even if I am suspect of his motives.
The PPA seems fixated on the fact that Cantor Gaming, a Venetian and Palazzo tenant, offers mobile sports betting to anyone in Nevada, as well as casino games to guests located at Venetian and Palazzo.
A page on Venetian’s website is titled “Mobile Gaming by Cantor”. That page advertises ways to gamble on casino games through a mobile device within the properties served by Cantor Gaming. The Palazzo website displays a similar page.
I completely agree that this is a great way to portray Sheldon Adelson as a hypocrite since Cantor Gaming leases space from his company. On the other hand, I feel that the online poker movement should not be forcing one of our allies into a corner that may affect the company’s business.
The PPA asserts that since Adelson and his company leases space to Cantor Gaming, his company Las Vegas Sands is a hypocrite for supporting a ban on Internet gambling. Presumably, Las Vegas Sands, the parent company of Venetian and Palazzo, receives commission through a lease agreement with Cantor Gaming. Maybe they do, but in my opinion, that is irrelevant.
To the best of my knowledge, Las Vegas Sands has no entry in its most recent 10-Q for sports betting or Cantor Gaming revenue. They are no more of a tenant than a restaurant or sundries store.
Cantor Gaming appears to be on the side of those wanting to see gaming expand to the Internet and mobile devices. If that is not the case, they are certainly not the enemy. It seems apparent to me that Cantor Gaming is a friend of the online poker industry and its expansion.
If the online poker movement attacks the relationship between Cantor Gaming and Las Vegas Sands then the most likely outcome would be an in-fight between the two companies. That does not help the cause at all. It may even cause bad blood between two groups that should be on the same side.
Why Instigate a Fight Between Our Ally and Adversary?
Cantor Gaming is a friend to online poker. The company obviously embraces advances in online gaming. Sports bettors in Nevada are able to wager on mobile devices anywhere in the state through the Cantor Gaming app. Tourists can wager on dozens of games offered by Cantor Gaming through partner properties. This product might be the next innovation for the industry as we wait to find complete regulation.
Cantor Gaming may cut a check each month to Las Vegas Sands, but that does not make them our foe. At the very least, the company should be given the opportunity to pick a side before we pit them against our enemy.
Updated: Headline edited for clarity