Last year Sheldon Adelson, big boss at Las VegasSands,decided that he would fight online gaming instead of welcoming it into his casino business. He’s so against online gaming that he’s now crusading to stop it.
Adelson is preparing a public campaign to portray online gambling as a danger to children, the poor and others who could be exploited by easy access to Internet betting.
I think it’s a strange use of money to fight against the industry that made Sheldon Adelson billions, but what do I know. Like many other casino operators Las Vegas Sands (The Venetian, The Palazzo, etc.) has been positioning itself as a landlord more than a casino operator. Fighting online gaming simply looks as if it’s another way for Adelson to shake the “stigma” of being seen as just a casino guy.
I find it interesting that Las Vegas Sands keeps Cantor Gaming as the sportsbook operator at The Venetianand The Palazzo. While those are fantastic physical sportsbooks you are encouraged by Cantor Gaming to sign up for a mobile account where you can bet on games anywhere in Nevada.
Since its inception Cantor Gaming has been on the forefront of moving sports betting with cutting edge technology. Ultimately they’d like you to be able to bet on games anywhere that its legal. Additionally you can use a Cantor mobile device to play traditional casino games on property. This isn’t a battery operated game. This is online gambling supported by Las Vegas Sands.
Cantor Gaming sounds like a company Sheldon Adelson should be fighting, not embracing.
Lagasse’s Stadium at the Palazzo and the traditional sportsbook The Venetian are my two favorite sportsbooks in Vegas. I don’t want to see them go away.
Back to the beginning of this discussion: Until Adelson removes Cantor Gaming from operating on his properties it’s difficult to take his fight against online gaming seriously.
Sheldon Adelson, CEO Las Vegas Sands, doesn’t like online gaming and thinks it’s a cancer. Sheldon Adelson considers online gaming a gateway drug to the downfall of mankind. Adelson says he doesn’t want any money from online gaming. Ever. Now get off his lawn. He’s cranky!
Sheldon Adelson is also probably not telling the truth. In the past couple years Las Vegas Sands has changed all of his poker rooms to be “Sands Poker Room” so that they can brand the poker rooms across the world to be the same. Las Vegas Sands isn’t branding everything the same. There are still Venetian’s and Sands’ and Palazzo’s around the world. But poker…that’s a streamlined brand.
Here’s an interesting interview with Sheldon Adelson bashing online gaming on Bloomberg News. It’s almost 8 minutes long so save for when you have the time.
The video doesn’t want to embed this morning. Maybe it needs more coffee too. you can watch it here.
In yesterday’s Las Vegas Sun, Oskar Garcia wrote an article about the legalization of onlinepoker. The article centers around Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson and his opposition to online gambling. As the article states, Adelson has said he opposes the legalization of any online gaming, including poker. But what is supposedly his reasoning for opposing online gaming? He’s worried that under-age kids would be able to play, as the internet hasn’t proven to be able to be age restrictive.
I understand his point. After all, the internet has done a poor job of limiting age-appropriate content to adults, including pornography and alcohol websites. There’s no reason to think that online poker companies would somehow be able to do any better at confirming a player’s age. That being said, I have to believe that Adelson’s opposition to online gaming has to go deeper than that.
Online gambling is a slippery slope, and legalizing poker can be viewed as the gateway. Poker is the first step because the player isn’t playing against the house. He’s playing against another player. But it’s easy to make the connection that once people are comfortable wagering money online, they would quickly be comfortable enough to play online games with a house edge, basically creating an online casino.
I have to believe this is more likely why Adelson doesn’t want online gaming. If people can gamble every time they turn on their computers, there’s a concern that it would impact the casinos. I challenge this argument as gambling in a casino is an experience. And while there is a thrill of winning, it’s also about social interaction. I don’t think gambling by yourself in front of a monitor would create the same feeling, and I think people would still want to go to casinos to play.
But if I owned a casino, I would probably be nervous about online gaming too. Las Vegas Sands as a company is doing well, but more on the strength of their Asian gaming than on Las Vegas. With that being the trend, it’s understandable that any casino executive would be nervous about losing that business. This is why MGM and Caesars are jumping on the Online Gambling bandwagon and support letting established casinos offer online poker. It’ll be interesting to see if Sands will do the same, even after hearing Adelson’s moral argument.
(ED: Venetian and Palazzo were the first casinos to have had mobile gaming units in Las Vegas. There’s definitely more to this than worry about children gambling. If that was the case, he would have had the units removed from the Venetian premises when gaming was legalized in hotel rooms. I have to think he’s just trying to stall the legalization so LVS can catch up to the competition and not just lease Cantor Gaming’s technology, which may be the smart move in the long run.)
In light of the pending implosion of The Harmon, Vegas Inc.decided to list the Top 10 Vegas Strip Hotel implosions. I love implosions and figured this was a good excuse to visit the youtube archives.
For the next couple of weeks I’ll grab video of these 10 Las Vegas Strip Hotel implosions. We go to #3 on the list – The Sands.
Opened: Dec. 15, 1952
Closed: June 30, 1996
Imploded: Nov. 26, 1996
The seventh resort on the Strip opened Dec. 15, 1952. It was designed by architect Wayne McAllister.
The Sands opened with only a few hundred rooms. Through the years, it passed through the hands of several Las Vegas land tycoons, including Howard Hughes, who purchased it in the mid 1960s. Hughes added an iconic 500-room circular tower designed by architect Martin Stern Jr.
Other owners included Howard Hughes, who purchased it in 1988, and, in 1989, the Interface Group, which included Sheldon Adelson.
The original “Oceans 11” movie was filmed at the Sands in 1960. The film — including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford — inspired a meeting, known as the Summit at the Sands, and united the stars, known worldwide as the Rat Pack.
Along with “Oceans 11,” the Sands was featured in “Con Air” and “The Cooler.” In 1996, Adelson closed the famous resort and imploded it to make way for the Venetian.