Analysis

Might Vegas sale signal end of Adelson anti-online campaign?

Las Vegas Sands Corporation (LVS) owner Sheldon Adelson is reportedly thinking about selling his Venetian and Palazzo properties.

A sale might raise around $6bn for the casino magnate and would include the Sands Expo Convention Center.

Adelson is one of the fiercest opponents of online gambling in the US.

He is also a high-profile supporter of President Trump.

LVS leaving the Strip arguably means one of the fiercest opponents of online gambling would lose influence on the debate.

It might even clear the path for more states to regulate.

Widespread moves would have a large influence the Wedge Index.

Key Wedge Index metrics include such aspects remote registration and mobile and online gambling. More brands launching in individual states would also boost the scale of the online industry and hence the Index.

Early efforts

Adelson launched the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG) in 2014 as part of his fight against states regulating online gambling.

It came after New Jersey and Delaware became the first two to regulate online casino in the wake of the fall of PASPA.

But Adelson’s efforts have been unable to stem the tide as the wave of sports-betting and to a lesser extent online gaming has rolled across the country.

Attempts to restore PASPA and his push for the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), have both been unsuccessful.  

His lobbying efforts are are impacted by business factors and LVS’s Asian focus has been apparent for some years.

LVS operates casinos in Macau and Singapore.

He is also seeing LVS’s major corporate rivals MGM and Caesars clearly embrace online gaming and betting.

Politically, he donated $75m to Donald Trump’s reelection campaign but if the bookmakers are correct Joe Biden is likely to be elected as the next US President.

Biden has stated that under his presidency states would keep their individual rights to decide online gambling regulations.

Changing times

Adelson based his opposition to online gaming on moral grounds. He said those playing on interactive platforms were more at risk of developing gambling addictions.

Such claims have been proven untrue by studies. Meanwhile, newer technologies have been developed that assist operators in monitoring rates and indicators of dangerous play.

Adelson appears to have decided that a sale of his Vegas properties will allow him to focus on his lucrative Asian casinos.

Jake Pollard

Jake Pollard is an experienced journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and betting industry for many years. He has written for the leading media outlets as well as operators and suppliers in the igaming space. His current areas of focus are wide-ranging and include regulatory developments in the US, emerging markets in South America and how European countries are adapting to a decade of igaming regulation.

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