Adelson, Others Push for Las Vegas GOP Convention

An article that appeared in the New York Times this week asserts that Sheldon Adelson, Steve Wynn, and a handful of other prominent Republicans have taken up the issue of getting the party to explore the option of letting Las Vegas host its upcoming 2016 GOP Convention.

The team behind the push for a Las Vegas-based convention is calling itself “LV2016” so says the paper.

Moral objections from some party members

By all reports, those who back the Las Vegas plan have been quite forceful in getting the word out.

“Vegas has pitched us earlier and more aggressively than any city since I’ve been on the committee,” the paper quoted Henry Barbour, a committee member from Mississippi, as saying.

Still, despite all the prodding from high-profile Republicans, there are some who cite moral concerns as a reason for locating the convention outside of the gambling capitol of the state of Nevada.

“It’s Vegas — it’s known for anything but wholesome. I have reservations as soon as I hear the word ‘Vegas.’” remarked Tara Scott, the chairwoman of the Republican committee in Iowa, who is also a devout Christian.

Carolyn Goodman, the politically-independent mayor of Las Vegas, refuted the notion that the city is all sin.

“There’s sin everywhere — we all know that. The thing is, we are in close proximity to top five-star dining, top shopping. And the most important thing: the weather,” said Goodman, who started out as a Republican herself before switching her allegiance to the Democrats. Later, Goodman shifted to independent.

Las Vegas, which plays host to myriad conventions each year spanning consumer electronics to bridal shows to mattress shows to adult movie gatherings, has yet to host a political convention in its more than 100 year history.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…

The comments section of the article in the New York Times – arguably the most left-leaning major newspaper in the United States – was quickly filled with allusions to Las Vegas’ prominent ad slogan “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”, with commenters suggesting that once Republican members were sequestered in the desert’s glittering gambling mecca, they ought to stay there, presumably as opposed to returning to Washington D.C.

Getting the delegates to Las Vegas may just be the problem.

While the other city in contention to host the 2016 convention, Kansas City, Missouri, enjoys a considerably more family-friendly reputation, the Times noted that if casinos are an issue for avoiding Las Vegas, GOP attendees won’t fare much better in middle America Kansas City, which has 14 casino properties in its vicinity.

Adelson recently in headlines for other reasons

One of the most visible backers of “LV2016”, the Las Vegas Sands’ Adelson, has been more talked about recently because of another of his pet projects, the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.

Adelson, who is 80 years old, has undertaken a campaign to stop regulated real money online poker and other forms of online betting both at the national and state levels. He received renewed criticism this week when he suggested that the legalization of Internet wagering even ought to be rolled back in states where it is legally permitted, those states being New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware.

The online poker media and community have been quick to point out Adelson’s hypocrisy, not only in his suggestion that Internet gambling is somehow more morally depraved than its land-based counterpart – which has made Adelson both wealthy and famous, not to mention powerful – but also that states’ rights ought to be trampled in his fervor to put in place restrictions to Internet betting web sites.

The Republican party, of course, cites as one of its major tenets the importance of states’ rights above centralized powers held by the federal government.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on,, and

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