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Case of Pulling Out Too Soon?

Added: June 2, 2014

Or can’t stand the heat of battle? You decide. But pay attention to the details here. This latest saga in the seemingly never ending on again off again push to legalize online gambling in the United States just took an odd twist.

Here’s the latest. Of course by now you already know that Sheldon Adelson is pulling out all the stops to ban online gambling in the United States. Recall that Mr. Adelson, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands, a massive land based casino enterprise, has made it his personal mission to outlaw Internet Gambling of all forms in the United States.

If you remember, he went to great pains to fund and set up the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling not too long ago. You may also remember that competing casinos, namely Caesars and MGM reacted by setting up their own organization to counter Sheldon. The mission of this organization, the Coalition For Consumer and Online Protection is (or was as you will see in just a moment) to stop the proposed federal legislation to ban online gambling.

Okay, that’s the setup, now what’s the latest? In case you were not aware, there is an organization referred to as the American Gaming Association. It turns out that the American Gaming Association (AGA) has been trying to straddle the fence, as it were. The AGA publicly denounced Sheldon’s attacks on online gambling. The message of the AGA was that Internet Gambling is here to stay and everyone should wake up to that fact and embrace it.

Uh not so much. At least anymore. In a recent announcement, the president and CEO of the Amercian Gaming Association pulled the plug on support for the groups aligned against Sheldon. Geoff Freeman, CEO of AGA put it bluntly: “ online gaming, an issue that the association can not lead on because of disagreement among members”.

Hmm, that’s odd. Just a short time ago, the same Mr. Freeman was a champion for online poker. In fact, when queried by congressional leaders on this very topic, Freeman replied that “online gaming is here to stay..” So, Freeman tells Congress that online gaming is here to stay but now has to pull out of supporting the Coalition For Consumer and Online Protection?

Interesting, don’t you think? Sure, publicly its all about members of the AGA all getting along and supporting each other. But what do you suppose really happened behind closed doors?