Latest Las Vegas Sands News Demonstrates Folly Of Adelson Stance On Online Gambling

October 31, 2016
Latest Las Vegas Sands News Demonstrates Folly Of Adelson Stance On Online Gambling

The latest news about the casinos owned by Las Vegas Sands Corp. has created further eye-rolling about CEO Sheldon Adelson’s stance on online gambling.

Nevada investigating Sands

The newest revelation about LVS is that it is allegedly letting people bet a lot of money, but not under their own names. The charges are now being investigated by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

According to Reuters:

Nevada’s state gambling regulator is investigating allegations that Las Vegas Sands Corp casinos allowed high-stakes Chinese players to bet millions of dollars in other people’s names, according to people directly familiar with the investigation. …

As Las Vegas has sought to draw wealthy Chinese baccarat players, some casinos have allowed high-stakes players to gamble through frontmen who would sign the credit paperwork, a Reuters investigation published last month found.

If the allegations are true and Sands is found to be in violation of Nevada regulations, it will likely result in major fines for the company.

The problem for Adelson regarding online gambling

If the above is indeed happening at Sands properties, it’s the latest bit of hypocrisy from Adelson, who has consistently championed a federal online gambling ban for myriad reasons.

One of those reasons: It’s impossible to know where or who your customers are — ie who is gambling — in an online environment. Never mind that that’s a ridiculous position to hold today, as know-your-customer protocols and geolocation technology allow online poker and gambling sites to know exactly who is using their product and where.

Consider the position advanced by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, an Adelson surrogate on online gambling matters:

“For anybody to argue that the internet can be walled off and used in just these certain boundaries, it’s a joke, come on,” Chaffetz said, although at least one witness and several committee members did exactly that, later on in the hearing. “No one with a straight face is going to come before the American people and say, well the internet, it’s just for the people of Nevada, or it’s just for the people of Rhode Island.”

And then consider what Sands is doing, if the allegations in Nevada are true, Sands is possibly allowing people to gamble, not under their own name, fully knowing that they are doing it. This would be nearly impossible to do in a regulated online gambling environment.

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Not the only ridiculous dichotomy for Adelson on iGaming

Another point on which online gambling opponents base their call for an iGaming ban: It’s impossible to stop minors from gambling.

But Sands properties have on several occasions been cited with allowing minors access to their casino floors.

All the while, online gambling sites outperform land-based casinos in preventing minors from gambling.

Perhaps someday Adelson’s position on online gambling will collapse from the sheer weight of its ridiculousness, and because his casinos are lousy at stopping the things he claims online gambling will allow. But I won’t hold my breath.

Songquan Deng /

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