Sheldon Adelson, the chairperson of Las Vegas Sands which operates several major land based casinos in the United States and in Asia is opposed to online casinos. He had plans in 2013 to work in 2014 towards overturning the Department of Justice opinion of 2011 which allowed intrastate online gambling.The 1961 Wire Act which banned any wire communication across state lines relating to a “sporting event or contest” had caused confusion regarding internet gambling.
When the Department of Justice opinion was published it made it clear that the 1961 Wire Act referred to sports betting and not to online casinos or online poker. This opened the way for states to pass their own legislation to permit online gambling within their own borders. So far only three states have passed the necessary legislation, these are Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey however many more states are showing interest in passing similar legislation and Sheldon Adelson’s “Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling” is working against this possible growth of the online casino industry in the United States. (See article: Sheldon Adelson to oppose online gambling).
Recently a draft of Adelson’s proposed bill to change the Department of Justice’s opinion has appeared on the internet. The bill entitled the “Internet Gambling Control Act” is to be put before the United States House of Representatives later this year. The proposed piece of legislation is still incomplete but the main points put forward include reversing the decision to exclude online gambling from the 1961 Wire Act and having the FBI look into claims that legalising internet gambling could lead to fraud, money laundering, terrorism or involvement in gambling by the young or vulnerable.Adelson is one of the biggest political donators in the United States and last year it is believed that he donated over 95 million dollars. With his land based casinos in Macau and Singapore performing very well he will be able to continue to pour money into his bid to have online casinos banned by the federal government. However, even though this is an election year, it is fairly unlikely that the legislation will be passed given the fact that several states are interested in legalising online casinos.