Rare Reversal to Ban Online Gambling in U.S.?

The US Justice Department is implementing a very rare reversal of an online gambling policy that could potentially result in putting a total ban on online gambling in the US…

…and Las Vegas Sands, (who recently competed with MGM for a Japanese license) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sheldon Adelson, is rumored to be the man responsible for the act.

Unexpected Decision

The Wall Street Journal published in a recent report that the new legal opinion is similar to the ones in documents submitted in 2017 by Adelson’s lobbyists.

This unexpected decision to reverse its own online gambling policies from eight years ago, also known as the federal Wire Act, really put the US Justice Department on the spot.

Senator Lindsey Graham, head of the Judiciary Committee, openly welcomed the decision.

“Restoring the original interpretation of the Wire Act takes great strides to protect children and society’s most vulnerable,” Graham said in the official statement.

Land-Based Casino Competition

As stated in the above-mentioned report, the Las Vegas Sands Chairman was one of the not-so-many people behind the opinion that the online gambling would significantly decrease the revenue of land-based casinos…

…as well as encourage underage gambling and potential risks of the development of gambling addiction among users.

On the other hand, other gambling industry executives were not supporting that kind of opinion because they believe that online gambling is a very lucrative business.

Legislative Denies the Rumors

Nevertheless, the US Justice Department explicitly denies the rumors that Adelson had anything to do with the policy reversal and that his political influence had nothing to do with their decision-making process.

Who is Sheldon Adelson?

Sheldon Gary Adelson is an eighty-five-year-old American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. Mr. Adelson is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corporation. He is listed by Forbes magazine as having a fortune of $33.3 billion, which makes him the 15th richest person in the world.

One of the things that also contributed to these rumors is the fact that he is a major contributor to Republican Party candidates…

…and that he donated $25 million to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The fact that he such a big influence on the politics as well, further stirs the rumors about his involvement in the reversal of online gambling policy even more.

A Word on Las Vegas Sands

The giant land-based casino corporation, Las Vegas Sands, which saw a decline in q2 of last year, is based in Paradise, Nevada. Its resorts feature not only casinos but also accommodation, convention, and exhibition facilities, as well as many restaurants and clubs.

The corporation owns several resorts in the US and Asia, including the famous Las Vegas Strip resorts – The Venetian and The Palazzo.

In Asia, they are owners of the famous Marina Bay Sands located in Singapore as well as several properties in Macau. The Sands Corporation is officially the largest casino company worldwide.


“Adelson suspected to be behind online gambling ban”, europeangaming.eu, January 23, 2019.

“The U.S. moves to ban online gambling with a reinterpretation of Wire Act”, japantimes.co.jp, January 20, 2019.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *