One of the things that make online casinos such a threat to the brick and mortar casinos is that you can basically do things anywhere. All you need is an internet connection and you can already enjoy the games. And because of this, a group that is backed by a Las Vegas casino magnate seeks to stop online poker and other online games in the wake of the Facebook scandal concerning data privacy.
It was reported by Business Insider that the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling which is backed by Sheldon Adelson, is criticizing the regulated online gaming industry’s advertisement. The goal is to stop the market’s growth as four US states have already approved online casino games including online poker. And it doesn’t just stop there, there are also other states that are also thinking of doing the same this 2018.
Adelson is the owner of Las Vegas Sands. He is a firm believer that online casino games such as online poker can hurt the casino business. Adelson who has a net worth of around $40 billion claimed that there are societal costs related to internet gaming. In fact, in 2013, he even mentioned that online gaming is a “toxin” and said that it could bring “plague to our society”.
For the past years, he funded efforts that would stop online gaming. He went as far as funding to restore a 1960s law that has been watered down by the Obama Department of Justice in 2011 that gave different states the power to regulate online gaming.
Restoration of America’s Wire Act
The legislative attempts were known as RAWA which is short for “restoration of America’s Wire Act”. This bill through the Congress has attempted to bring back the old legislation. However, despite many backdoor attempts, things weren’t successful still. The latest attempt included the advertising and data privacy criticism.
According to the anti-online poker group, they have highlighted that the data-driven online casino ads can actually follow a person who is browsing the World Wide Web. What this means is that online casino ads will be available in different range of sites. And because of this reason, the anti-online poker coalition believes that it should be enough to curb the current online casino industry.
If you will ask Jeff Ifrah who is a prominent online gaming attorney who had a role in bringing back online gaming industry back, he believes that “it’s irony on steroids that a special interest group who claims to be concerned about data privacy is planning to wage a targeted campaign via Facebook in light of recent revelations regarding Facebook’s data privacy challenges”.
Fear-Mongering by the Coalition
He also mentioned that states such as Delaware, New Jersey, Nevada, and Pennsylvania all know exactly to run a regulated online gaming industry “without compromising an inch on data privacy”. He mentions that there are no scandals to date regarding American regulated online casino market.
Could the coalition simply doing fear-mongering tactics in order to push their agenda? For a lot of experts, they believe that this is exactly the case considering how online casinos grew over the last years.