PPA Responds to Sheldon Adelson’s Controversial Comments

Sheldon AndersonJust a few days ago, Sheldon Adelson, the head of the Las Vegas Sands group was the subject of many poker conversations. Adelson was adamant about online poker in the United States and made some very controversial comments about the very niche that has made him a billionaire.

His recent comments about online gambling being “immoral and dangerous” were both surprising and outrageous given his high-ranking position with Las Vegas Sands. The comments caused the poker community to boycott the Sands and make particular remarks intended for Adelson.

The Poker Players Alliance has now responded to the comments by Adelson in a recent press release. The President of the PPA, John Pappas, has stated that Adelson’s claims are unfounded. Adelson claimed that online gambling options would be hard to control and the US government should ban the option. Pappas responded by stating:

“I think he’s missed the mark by a wide margin.  The reality is that licensed and regulated internet poker is taking place worldwide and right here in America and right here in his back yard of Nevada. All of the perceived evils have been addressed through appropriate oversight—greater oversight and regulation than what’s available in a brick-and-mortar setting. Age-verification? Protecting problem gamblers? Those can be addressed on the Internet even better than in one of Mr. Adelson’s casinos.”

Pappas stated further that any activity of online poker players would be able to be tracked in real time in the US. The PPA has now challenged the statements made by Adelson in a recent Forbes article and would like to see more information to back up Adelson’s claims. Adelson stated that European countries with online gambling options are seeing a 20% revenue drop with their terrestrial gambling options and Pappas says this is not true, stating that the United Kingdom actually saw a growth in the overall gambling market once online gambling became popular.

Pappas also stated that the PPA had nothing to do with the boycott towards the properties owned by Adelson but he did state that they understand the movements by outraged players who read Adelson’s comments.

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