Adelson to Spend Whatever It Takes to Boot Online Poker ; Christie Going to Highest Court ; Change Needed in NFL Rulebook

adelson says no

Sheldon Adelson: ‘Willing To Spend Whatever It Takes’ To Thwart Online Poker In United States

Casino Boss Responds To Report Of New Anti-Online Gambling Group
by Brian Pempus

Billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson has just told Forbes that he is up for spending an ungodly amount of cash in order to crush online gambling developments in the U.S.

Adelson’s comments to Forbes were his first public remarks on the topic since The Washington Post reported that he will be kicking off the “Coalition To Stop Internet Gambling” in January.

“My moral standard compels me to speak out on this issue because I am the largest company by far in the industry and I am willing to speak out,” he said.

“I don’t see any compelling reason for the government to allow people to gamble on the Internet and nobody has ever explained except for the two companies whose special interest is going to be served if there is gaming on the Internet, Caesars and MGM.”

He also told Forbes bluntly: “I am willing to spend whatever it takes.”

That comment is coming from someone who spent — arguably wasted — around $100 million trying to get a Republican in the White House in 2012.

His net worth is valued at around $28.5 billion.

Some have called his position inconsistent, but he has maintained that he thinks gambling on the web would be too accessible for those underage and who otherwise shouldn’t gamble.

His argument has of course been debated for a long time by people within the industry.

Adelson’s strongest anti-online poker rhetoric, at least made in public, came this summer when he wrote an op-end for Forbes claiming that online gambling could bring a “plague” “to our society.” He finished the op-ed by calling the business a “toxin.”

Some have pointed out that Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. is not in need of revenue from online gambling like some of his competitors appear to be. Sands makes an incredible fortune from casino operations in Macau, the world’s top gambling market.

Adelson wants to oppose online poker on two fronts. He will dispatch people to fight the issue at the state level, as well as try to convince lawmakers on Capitol Hill to ban the industry outright. The latter seems to be nearly impossible, so Adelson’s most dangerous effects, if you think web poker should be available, would be in states where the issue is up for debate.

Several are expected to take up the conversation in 2014.

Adelson’s upcoming battle seems to be a rare disagreement among casino interests in the United States. After all, laws that are beneficial for one casino are typically beneficial for all, at least if you are talking about the Nevada-based giants.

In fact, Sands is a member of the American Gaming Association, which MGM and Caesars also belong to. The AGA is a vocal supporter of online gambling legalization in the U.S.

In some sense, it all makes no sense.


christie and gambling
Christie to take New Jersey’s sports betting fight to U.S. Supreme Court

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will ask the Supreme Court to allow the state to move forward with sports gambling after a federal appeals court last week declined to rehear the case, a spokesman said Friday.

If New Jersey wants to offer race and sports betting at casinos and racetracks statewide, it is going to need an assist from the U.S. Supreme Court.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will ask the Supreme Court to allow the state to move forward with sports gambling after a federal appeals court last week declined to rehear the case, a spokesman said Friday.

“Gov. Christie has said all along this issue should be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, and that’s what he hopes will happen next,” Colin Reed, a spokesman for the governor, said in a statement.

Reed said the governor has asked attorneys representing New Jersey to file the necessary paperwork.

Major League Baseball, the National Football League, National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and the NCAA sued to stop New Jersey from opening race and sports books after Christie signed the legislation last year to make it legal. The professional leagues say allowing more states to offer betting would risk damaging the integrity of their individual sports leagues.

Christie and the state’s lawyers have argued that the 1992 federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is unconstitutional. The federal law prohibits states from legalizing or regulating sports betting.

New Jersey has lost two rounds of court cases over its efforts to implement sports wagering, first in U.S. District Court in Trenton, N.J., and then in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

“The people of New Jersey voted overwhelmingly to bring sports betting to New Jersey,” Reed said. “The governor agrees with his constituents and will not give up the fight.”

Voters by an almost 2-to-1 margin approved of sports betting in a referendum on the November 2011 ballot. Sports wagering is legal in four states – Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon.

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at or 702-477-3893. Follow @sierotyfeatures on Twitter.


penalty flag

The NFL Rule That Needs To Be Changed

by Nolan Dalla

Earlier this week, NFL Hall of Famer Troy Aikman suggested that the NFL rule book need to be re-written.

He’s right. But I’ll go a step further.

The NFL rule book need to be burned. The league should completely start over.

Aside from the fact that football is an increasingly dangerous game, the biggest problem is — we’re increasingly forcing men in their 50s and 60s to make game-altering decisions. They have to make razor-thin judgement calls. And, they often get it wrong. With NFL players getting bigger and faster, and the game now impossible to decipher without the use of instant replay, games aren’t necessarily won and lost on the field anymore. Wins and losses are increasingly determined by an official’s marginal call.

Consider two games played last week.

The New England-Carolina game ended with a major controversy when pass interference wasn’t called on the final play. I rarely like pass interference to be called. In fact, I prefer rules that allow the defender to do his job. There are way too many pass interference calls in the NFL, where the games are almost impossible to watch anymore. But this was clearly a case where a flag should have been thrown (and upheld). Whether you agree or not with the flag, the trouble is that referees are forced into these decisions. Instead, why not just let defenders make casual contact and go after the ball? That’s how the rule should be written.

The other major controversy took place in the San Francisco-New Orleans game where the Saints clearly got a break on roughing the passer call, which determined the outcome of the game. I’m as big a Saints fan as anyone, but that was a horrible call. San Francisco probably should have won that game, and would have had it not been for the flag-happy official.

There are three serious problems with pro football rules — offensive holding, pass interference, and forward progress. Only one of these components is subject to instant replay review. In other words, holding and interference flags cannot be overturned by instant replay. I find this to be abominable. Then again, how about just scrapping all of these judgement penalties (except in the most egregious cases such as where players risk being injured)? That would essentially solve the problem.

The very worst rule in the NFL is the forward progress rule, particularly as it applies to scoring a touchdown. A player can be standing on the two-yard-line, but if he stretches the call forward across something called “an invisible plane,” it’s ruled a touchdown. Ridiculous.

Sorry, but I don’t think a touchdown should be given when a player isn’t even standing in the same zip code.

Now, any player who gets anywhere close to the goal line reaches the ball forward, hoping to be the beneficiary of a touchdown ruling. It just seems so totally wrong to give a team 6 points when the ball carrier is physically present OUTSIDE of the end zone. Worse, we’re forcing split-second decisions to be made by referees (often positioned far away), which are often impossible to judge correctly.

The revised rule should be that for any touchdown to be scored the player must make some kind of contact with the end zone, meaning the field of play. A foot in bounds. A hand in bounds. The ball hitting the field, across the goal line. The players body on the ground, holding the ball. You know, where the player actually makes contact in some way with the end zone. Indeed, the act of scoring should include a PHYSICAL presence of some kind in the end zone — not across some “imaginary plane.”

The very worst example of this is when a player nears the sidelines and is running out of bounds, and then actually goes out way short of the goal line. But if the player reaches the ball out — and in the mind of an official it crosses some indecipherable line in mid-air — a touchdown is ruled.

Absolutely ridiculous.

Why is standing two-yards away from the end zone worthy of a score? No — instead, the player should be required to make some kind of contact with the field, across the goal line. Such a rule would also be much easier to judge and enforce.

Aikman is right. The NFL rule book needs to be completely scrapped and re-written. New rules should prioritize player safety and removing judgement calls from the game as much as possible.


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