Is Major GOP Donor Pulling Strings Behind Wire Act Opinion?

Published February 9, 2019 by Sol FH

Is Major GOP Donor Pulling Strings Behind Wire Act Opinion?

Online gambling in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in danger of disruption if Adelson gets his way.

One of the DOJ biggest donors, Mr. Sheldon Adelson is also one of the biggest names in business in general and land-based gambling in particular. You may know his brands, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, and more. No matter what you think about online gambling, a recent DOJ opinion on the "Wire Act" is making headlines everywhere because it will essentially cease all interstate gambling, and, Mr. Adelson played a (central) role in its passing. 

Online vs. Land-Based

Online gambling has been a taboo for anyone near Adelson, even though he could be set to make massive gains with online operations. Instead, Adelson has been behind some of the biggest lobbying efforts to shut down online gambling in the US, and it looks like he had succeeded in doing so when the DOJ announced last month that its opinion on the Wire Act has changed and interstate wagering would no longer be allowed, including, but not limited to sports betting

The DOJ came out with this new opinion during the Government Shutdown so formal information was hard to find, but now, the gaming industry is crushed, and it doesn't look like it will get back to its feet. Existing operators with interstate operations will be given 90-days to change their operations, and states that were planning to look to interstate gaming as a huge source of tax revenue are now left in the cold. 

Michelle Minton, a senior fellow at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, has admitted that the new opinion has "created a mess of confusion about existing laws." Anyone close or familiar with what goes on behind the closed doors must know that money talks, and Adelson has over $33 billion to play with. Minton continued, "not to mince words, Sheldon Adelson is what’s driving the Department of Justice,” said related. 

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