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Up until recently, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been pretty silent about online gambling. Now he’s expected to introduce a bill to federally ban online gambling as early as next week. What’s the deal?
There’s good reason to believe that he’s doing a favor for his buddy, billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Last year, Adelson launched a campaign called Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. He alleges that online gambling is, “a threat to our society — a toxin which all good people ought to resist.” This seems like an odd statement to make from someone who owns… a casino company.
Does anyone really believe Adelson thinks online gambling is so evil? After all, gambling helped him become the 8th richest person in the world. He is the chairman and chief executive of Las Vegas Sands, which owns the Venetian on the Las Vegas strip and has a big gambling business in Macau.
I’ll take a wild guess and say that Adelson wants to shut down online gambling simply because it cuts into the profits of his brick and mortar casinos. He’s the real story: he doesn’t want to compete with new forms of gambling. So, he’s running to Washington to get a little help from his corrupt politician friends.
In return, he’ll give them some $$$.
Surprise, surprise. Adelson and his wife hosted a Graham fundraiser last year.
According to Politico, “Adelson has not been a long-time Graham supporter, but in 2013 he and his wife Miriam — who have spread their money widely among Republicans — cut checks for $15,600 in campaign contributions to Graham.”
Adelson is dedicated to spend “whatever it takes” to stop online gambling. He’s lobbying politicians hard. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is preparing to introduce a nearly identical bill to ban online gambling in the House.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that, “the goals of the Graham-Chaffetz legislation are consistent with the highly publicized campaign by billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson to outlaw Internet gambling on moral grounds.”
Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller goes on to say that there is indication that the bills were "written by Darryl Nirenberg, who reportedly now lobbies for Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corporation.”
In the draft Senate bill, Graham was “nice” enough to make an exception for horse race gambling. Hmm, could that be a favor to Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell?
Readers of the FreedomWorks blog likely have diverse views on gambling. But hopefully, we can all agree that this stinks of crony capitalism and lies.
Don’t be fooled by Graham’s pleas to ban online gambling for “moral reasons.” He’s just doing another favor for big business in exchange for campaign cash. Tsk, tsk.