Venetian Boycott Gains Steam Venetian Boycott Gains Steam
gabriel77, SXC Standard Restrictions
Key Takeaways
  • Well-known poker media icon, Nolan Dalla, called for an organized, unified formal boycott of LVS’ The Venetian.
  • The five-day boycott is to begin on Monday, July 22 at 12:01am and continue through the week, ending on Saturday, July 26 at 12:01am.

The poker community has been buzzing with contempt recently over the renewed public comments of Las Vegas Sands Corp CEO Sheldon Adelson's vilifying of online poker, and his pleas to keep it unregulated and unavailable to US consumers.

That fervor came to a head yesterday when well-known poker media icon, Nolan Dalla, called for an organized, unified formal boycott of LVS’ The Venetian on his website. Dalla is hoping to turn the Venetian from one of the busiest poker rooms on the Las Vegas Strip to “an empty poker room for five straight days.”

The rumblings of hypocracy and a boycott can be found on the poker forum Two Plus Two in a thread that references Adelson’s initial Forbes article.

It did not take long for members to point out that the same man who was calling online poker a potential “cancer” to society also ran one of the most active poker rooms on the Las Vegas Strip, The Venetian, home of the popular Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza.

John Pappas, Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance, took to PocketFives to condemn Adelson’s remarks and make a case for federally regulated online poker while Nicholas Kisberg, CEO of poker forum, also penned an open letter to Adelson discussing regulation, protection and responsibility. While neither called for a boycott of Adelson’s properties, they were keeping the fires of the argument stoked among followers of the legal situation.

On Tuesday, ABC News took the unrest of the poker community to the mainstream by reporting on the situation on its website and discussing with Pappas the possibility of a boycott.

“Nothing’s being organized by us; but yes, we’ve heard, certainly, from plenty of outraged players,” Pappas is quoted as saying in the article.

Finally, today, Nolan Dalla put a finer point on it, calling for the five-day boycott to begin on Monday, July 22 at 12:01am and to continue through the week, ending on Saturday, July 26 at 12:01am.

The passionate blog post encourages people to spread the word online and at the tables.

“For once in your life, do something,” Dalla writes. “The time for action is now”

Pokerfuse had the opportunity to ask Dalla about his call to action:

Why now? Adelson has been saying these types of things for years. What is different now?:

“Change doesn’t start with armies, it’s sparked by lone voices who get fed up with a 'wrong’ and decide to take action to make it 'right’. Like many poker players, I’m fed up. I’m disgusted with Sheldon Adelson’s hypocrisy. But recently, he has gone beyond that. Adelson removed his name as someone credible in honest debate about the future of online poker. Now, he has resorted to lying about the game and insulted all those who play it by saying that poker is a game of luck. It’s time for us to take a stand and do something to show everyone that we will not allow our rights to be infringed, nor allow the debate on poker to be shaped by someone as clueless as Sheldon Adelson.”

The boycott is called for after the WSOP and the Venetian DeepStack Series is over. Is there a reason for this timeline?

This is only the start of something that I expect will get much bigger. This boycott may very well be repeated in the future and target other even busier times at The Venetian. Right now, the goal is to get the word out and mobilize for this one week. To create public awareness. To get people active and thinking as activists. To give poker players a chance to funnel their anger and frustration. That’s what this is all about. Next month, the boycott will last for one week. After that, who knows? Let’s take this one step at a time.