LVS Quashes Adelson iGaming Flip-Flop Rumor
Key Takeaways
  • News site ran erroneous article on rumor that Adelson had changed his position on web poker.
  • LVS exec later responded unequivocally that the article was inaccurate.

A spokesperson for Las Vegas Sands (LVS) put to bed rumors that surfaced over the weekend that Sheldon Adelson had changed his stance on online poker.

Brett Collson, Managing Editor at PokerNews, tentatively tweeted late on Friday that Adelson had “supposedly switched his position on internet poker” and was now supporting a new Reid bill.

Adelson has come out as a strong opponent of online gambling, and online poker specifically, in recent weeks, launching an LVS-approved campaign titled “Stop Internet Gambling.”

The rumor was given some credence when separate reports surfaced that Reid was both seeking to introduce a new poker-only bill, but also may seek to tighten the Wire Act to make intrastate igaming illegal if such a federal bill fails.

The rumor was picked up by poker news affiliate site at the weekend, under an article titled “Adelson Changes Mind, Gives New Hope to Federal Online Poker in US,” which cited Brett Collson but not the tweet specifically.

The article lead to Nevada journalist Jon Ralston tweeting in response to the article, “Adelson folks tell me he is as committed as ever vs. web poker.” Later, Andy Abboud, LVS Vice President of Government Relations & Community Development, responded in the Facebook comments of the article unequivocally: “This article is not accurate. Sheldon Adelson has not changed his position.”

The article was subsequently updated, citing “a source familiar with the situation” stating that Adelson “might be even more firm than he was previously about his opposition to online gaming.”

Rich Muny, Vice President of Player Relations at the Poker Players Alliance, took the opportunity to engage the LVS exec, commenting: “That’s a shame, Andy. Many Americans want this right and will remember—long after this is over—that Venetian lobbied Congress for a national ban on online poker. I know I will.”

“I encourage you to tell the LV Sands’ Board that this is tarnishing Venetian’s brand and reputation in the poker community,” he added.