Proponents of Regulated Online Gambling Fire Back at Sands Chief Adelson

After Las Vegas Sands CEO and prominent GOP backer Sheldon Adelson released a scathing opinion piece last week on, in which he minced no words in describing the evils he believes will result from the regulation of online gambling in the United States, those who support online poker and other forms of Internet wagering are firing back.

Adelson warns of  “societal train wreck” in allowing Internet betting

Adelson, a man who has built a vast fortune from his career in the gambling and casino business, said he believed that the online gambling industry ought to adopt the slogan, “click your mouse and lose your house.”

According to Adelson, by allowing online wagering, which three states – Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware – have already done, there is a great societal risk of the proliferation of addictive gambling behaviors.

Not so, say Adelson’s detractors. In a response piece published on the website Business Insider, the CEO of, Nicholas Kisberg points out that the UK has a longstanding gambling culture and widely permits all types of online gambling, yet so-called problem gambling is not much of a problem there.

“But what is the important problem gambling figure? Surely the terrible disease – as you put it – must have run rampant in the UK where it has been entrenched for so long? According to Gamble Aware, the top estimate is around 0.9% of the UK population having a gambling problem. The US rate? The National Council on Problem Gambling puts it at 2%-3%,” Kisberg writes.

Another Adelson concern is above-board operators

The issue of a poorly-regulated online gambling industry is another stated concern of Adelson’s.

“Online gambling makes it possible for bets to be placed by anyone at any time. When gambling is available in every bedroom, every dorm room and every office space, there will be no way to fully determine that each wager has been placed in a rational and consensual manner,” he wrote in his piece.

Defenders of regulated online gambling naturally have a response to this argument, as well. By tightly regulating the market in terms of what types of companies can and do receive licensing as well as putting into place stringent identity checks to ensure that a gambler is of age, the industry can actually be more secure and can restrict both illegal operators and illicit players.

Some industry insiders implore backlash to stop

While it is unlikely that this story will die down anytime soon, particularly during the summer months when legislative action is slow or non-existant – meaning gambling news is very slow, indeed – there are many industry pundits who are imploring their peers to halt their attacks on Adelson. Some industry observers have pointed out that by continuing to fire back at Adelson, he remains in the spotlight as far as this issue is concerned, which is exactly what he wants.

By allowing the story to fade away, so too will Adelson’s remarks, argue those who would like to put an end to the massive tide of anti-Adelson chatter sweeping online poker forums and blogs. By continuing to engage in what many view as counterproductive ranting against Adelson’s viewpoint, the cause of online gambling regulation in the United States is not advanced at all, but rather proceeds in the shadow of a negative light.

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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