The IGaming North America conference began on Wednesday in Las Vegas at the Planet Hollywood Resort and close to 700 people were present to learn about legislative developments in the US and how they are impacting the gambling marketplace. Politicians from several states including California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Iowa were on hand to discuss how online gaming legislation is progressing in each state.
However, there was one panel in particular that everyone was waiting for, when Mitch Garber of Caesars Interactive and Andy Abboud of the Las Vegas Sands would meet to discuss online gaming. The two of course have totally different perspectives with Garber in favor and Abboud on the coattails of Stephen Adelson.
According to iNTERGAME, uring the panel, Abboud stated that the Las Vegas Sands was anti-online gaming not due to morals but due to opening up the market to anyone and everyone with poor regulation. Abboud stated that legislation was going to let ‘a lot of bad people’ go through each state which would not be positive for the industry. The need for caution and thinking was the approach Abboud believes in.
Garber was prepared and fired back stating that the Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson has made his position quite clear and it is contrary to Abboud’s statement about iGaming. Adelson holds a protectionist position with the thoughts that i-gaming is bad. Garber further stated that claiming online gaming is supportive of underage gambling and that it funds terrorism is not true and that Adelson’s well-funded anti-online gaming campaign could be compared to the tobacco industry, one of which is a battle between money and the facts.
Abboud then stated that the brick and mortar casinos should not be put at risk with poorly written legislation. He believes the only winners would be companies like Zynga and Facebook while the casino owners would lose.
Garber then stated that online gaming is way ahead of land-based casinos. He pointed out that with online activity; companies can identify every player and track each transition which is something that the Las Vegas Sands in Macau does not know. Abboud then stated he does not understand the technology and believes the technology claims of Caesars to be untrue.
The panel continued with Abboud stated that the Wire Act needs to be reintroduced and enforced for all gambling. Garber stated that illegal gambling needs to be shut down as it impacts his business in Nevada. The discussion is a hot topic of debate and the both Garber and Abboud made the panel very interesting.
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