Let’s face it…the war against online poker is not only infuriating, for many of us – it’s confusing. Who’s doing what to whom and how hard is tough to suss out, except for the fact that Sands Corp. Chairman, 80-year-old Sheldon Adelson, is looking to impose an anti-freedoms legacy after spending a lifetime of supporting gambling (and mass amounts of alcohol consumption and non-stop cancer causing smoking in his casinos).
Slate Magazine takes a look at the big picture from where legislation stands today, who the impact players (Adelson, Ceasars, the PPA, PokerStars) are who are giving cash to politicians to do their bidding and they ask the question if it’s just too late to impose a full fledged ban.
Las Vegas–based casinos and overseas operators have begun an all-out battle over Internet gambling, which is mostly banned nationwide but carries with it the promise of billions of dollars in additional revenue for casinos and state governments. Three states began licensing online betting last year, and Congress is facing increasing pressure to either bar or regulate the fledgling industry.
The moves are coming in response to a concerted push orchestrated by a colorful cast of characters, including Sheldon Adelson, one of the most prolific political donors of the super PAC era, an offshore company that only recently settled federal allegations of money laundering and bank fraud, and a pair of benignly named political advocacy groups backed by big-time casino cash.
It’s a dense article, filled with backstory, some of which as poker players you will be familiar with (Black Friday, UIGEA) but in the end, if you want to get what seems to be a pretty nice summary of the current fight for the freedom of online poker – and more than online poker, your freedoms as an individual – check out The Big Gamble over at Slate Magazine.