Card Player – Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson has done nothing to shed his reputation as poker’s public enemy no. 1 ever since he announced that he was “willing to spend whatever it takes” to thwart online poker legislation in the United States.
Adelson, who formed the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling in January, has made it abundantly clear that he has has a moral and financial problem with online poker, claiming it preys on vulnerable people and children. His group even drafted a bill that would stop the spread of state-by-state online poker regulation.
The only problem is that Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corporation owns the Venetian Hotel and Casino, which runs of of the largest poker rooms in the city. In the past, he’s allowed the room to operate to its full potential, but now, it appears as though he’s taking a stand.
Earlier this week, the Venetian unexpectedly canceled an option that would allow poker media company PokerNews to report live updates from a Mid-States Poker Tour event on the property. Although PokerNews is a principal sponsor of the tour, they were not permitted to cover the tournament, which was running as a part of the Venetian’s quarterly Deep Stack Extravaganza series, because the site promotes online poker.
Although the Venetian declined to comment on the situation, there are other signs that Adelson is scaling back poker at his property. Last year, the Venetian utilized the neighboring Palazzo Hotel and Casino to expand the number of tables from 59 to 119, making it the second largest tournament series in the city. This year, despite an ambitious original schedule, the Venetian has been forced to restrict the series to the poker room.