PokerStars pros have publicly come out against Sheldon Adelson as questions surrounding the Las Vegas casino mogul’s influence over national policy mount.
Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu, Chris Moneymaker, and Jason Somerville have turned to social media to communicate their growing disdain for online gambling villain Sheldon Adelson, as evidence linking the Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO to a recent re-interpretation of the 1961 Wire Act continues to surface.
— jcarver (@JasonSomerville) February 8, 2019
Somerville and his colleagues make reference to recent articles published by the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, both of which outline Adelson’s manipulation of government assets to unjustly restrict the pursuits of those he perceives as commercial rivals — namely regulated iGaming companies that operate in the U.S. under statewide licensure.
If you wonder why we can’t play online poker in the USA. This guy is one of the main culprits. All to protect his interests. https://t.co/Z7mUWFKqGp
— Chris Moneymaker (@CMONEYMAKER) February 8, 2019
U.S. PokerStars Pros Sound Off on Adelson Tactics
Poker superstar and MasterClass instructor Daniel Negreanu reached out to his Twitter followers Friday to give his own thoughts on Sheldon Adelson’s years-long campaign to block online casino rivals at any cost, calling the entrenched Las Vegas magnate “a shithead.”
Sheldon Adelson is a shithead. 💩💩💩 https://t.co/2hoj2jCkUK
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) February 8, 2019
Run It Up Studios collaborator Andrew Neeme (not a PokerStars pro) released a video last month that also expressed frustration at the lack of progress in spreading licensed online poker games on a statewide level, calling the recent developments massively “tilting.”
Andrew Neeme “Massive Tilting Issues” — Jan 19, 2019 (TIMESTAMP 12:50-17:45)
Poker Alliance Requests Feedback from Players and Fans
Three weeks ago, poker lobbyist Rich Muny sounded the alarm for U.S. poker players who wish to play online in a formally licensed environment, opining that banks and regulators will represent Achilles’ Heels to iGaming operators following the new interpretation of federal law.
Since that time, the Poker Alliance (now a subsidiary of media company Poker Central headed by Mark Brenner), appears to have redoubled its outreach efforts to poker fans — particularly those who reside in states that could be critically impacted by the USDOJ reversal.
We've seen some strong criticism of the DOJ Wire Act opinion in the past couple of weeks, but this piece in USA Today takes the 🎂, and we couldn't agree more.
How about you? https://t.co/Qu7B8GJOTy
— Poker Alliance (@ppapoker) February 8, 2019
In response to those and other fears surrounding the future of regulated, statewide online gambling, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro submitted a joint letter on February 5th to USDOJ officials seeking clarification of the “deeply troubling” Wire Act opinion.
New Jersey, Pennsylvania Seek Clarity on USDOJ Wire Act Opinion (Eric Ramsey, OPR – Feb 5, 2019)
Poker Player Boycott on Sheldon Adelson Properties?
The initiative taken by PokerStars pros to stand up for regulated U.S. online poker games has resulted in renewed calls for a poker player boycott on casinos owned by Adelson, including the Las Vegas Venetian.
— Richard Parker (@UPSPWNAGE) February 8, 2019
Many United States card players have resented Adelson’s hypocritical campaign against online poker for years, and are quick to point out that the Venetian itself promotes mobile gaming in the state of Nevada — while its chief executive maneuvers to impose his will upon competing interests elsewhere.
He is THE main culprit. And it boggles my mind why anyone in an interest in seeing legalized online poker expand in the US would EVER play @VenetianVegas. Poker players are notoriously self-serving, but that is gross.
— Haley Hintze (@Haley_Hintze) February 8, 2019
WATCH: Michigan Regulated iGaming Study Guide (Video #5 – TIMESTAMP 1:54-2:57)
What Does the WSOP Have to Say?
As far as we know, there has been no public outcry against Sheldon Adelson from the World Series of Poker, its established collaborators, or its parent company (Caesars Entertainment).
However, two interesting videos were posted to Twitter by WSOP commentator Norman Chad on Tuesday, February 5th.
The rumors are true about me and PokerStars.
I address them here honestly and openly. pic.twitter.com/fULTxu8CVR
— Norman Chad (@NormanChad) February 5, 2019
The clips poke mild fun at the world’s largest poker site along with its headline pro, but also hint (albeit sarcastically, and possibly with double-meaning) that the commercial rivalry between the WSOP and PokerStars (TIMESTAMP 51:30-54:30) may be heating up.
My apologies — due to some confusion, I need to clarify my PokerStars comments.
I hope this puts to bed this unfortunate controversy. pic.twitter.com/lU54dCY3xU
— Norman Chad (@NormanChad) February 5, 2019
U.S. Gambling Industry Friction Brings Additional Heat (Commentary)
* All commentary belongs solely to the author.
As relayed in our coverage provided by Craig Klinski, Acting U.S. Attorney General Matt Whitaker formally denied accusations before the House Judiciary Committee Friday of any Adelson involvement in the DOJ’s controversial stance.
— Gerald Rau (@rau5461) February 8, 2019
Yet the continued angst between a number of powerful, commercial land-based and online U.S. casino interests is quickly flowing over into a high profile, nosebleed stakes dispute that could ultimately play out on a national stage — with dramatic consequences for the eventual losers.
If not somehow modified, overturned or otherwise revoked, the presiding USDOJ interpretation would catastrophically impact regulated, interstate online poker games that currently operate within the U.S. while opening the dam for unlicensed, offshore gambling sites.
It also threatens to result in an outright decimation of the social fabric that binds live and online poker players throughout the United States, as casino-goers are forced to assume the risks of patronizing black market gambling services that will continue to operate within the U.S. regardless.
Read More U.S. Online Poker Coverage
Pennsylvania Online Poker Launch – Newcomer Questions (Jan 15, 2019)
Michigan Online Poker Bill Vetoed by Gov. Rick Snyder (Dec 28, 2018)
PokerStars Pennsylvania Confirmed (Aug 13, 2018)
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