Adelson’s AstroTurf Lobbyists Working to Restrict Your Freedom

Mathew Boyer of the Washington Examiner explores Sheldon Adelson’s efforts to ban online gaming, with an emphasis on the recent legalization of online gaming in Pennsylvania:

Internet gambling regulations are one of the many issue areas that fall under the states’ rights category, and a growing number of people are finding legalization to be a successful revenue raiser. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees, including casino owner and billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who is behind federal and state lobbying campaigns to prohibit it.

Behind the scenes, Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, or CSIG, made the Pennsylvania state budget a battleground for his legislative card-counting. Instead of allowing Pennsylvanians to decide which policies are best for themselves, Adelson, who owns the state’s Sands Bethlehem Casino, tried to divide Republicans and Democrats, enabling a budgetary shortfall by pushing for a crony prohibition on Internet gambling.

Adelson’s time is not just invested in these localized campaigns. To make matters easier, he is also pushing a federal bill that would override these state laws in one fell swoop.

Adelson has been pushing the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, or RAWA, for several years. It is rooted in crony dealmaking and would have a disastrous impact on the Pennsylvania state budget, among others. This summer, Adelson hired a longtime friend of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to lobby the Justice Department on this issue.

So why does the big-time conservative donor want Congress to go all in on a bad hand?

It’s merely crony capitalism. In accepting market innovation and digitization, many other casino CEOs have folded their hand in the fight against online gambling. Adelson, however, has raised his. By lobbying Congress to enact RAWA, Adelson can isolate his casino empire from the realities of Internet gambling.

Read the rest here.

Perhaps Adelson’s lobbying explains why Pennsylvania Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick wants to restrict online gambling, despite the fact that his home state has already collected $1 million in revenue since it was legalized.

Please call your Representative and Senators and tell them to vote against any legislation containing a federal ban on online gaming.

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF