Sen. Lindsay Graham has decided that we must ban internet gambling at the federal level. By sheer coincidence, I’m sure, he came to this position after Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate who wants to rid himself of the competition, started raising big money for his reelection campaign.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) says he will soon propose a federal Internet gambling ban, a proposal that mirrors the agenda of his major backer, billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, and the Adelson-backed Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. This move comes after Adelson and his wife hosted a Graham fundraiser last year.
Graham has not previously made gaming a major policy priority, but did oppose a 2010 proposal to legalize Internet poker. Last month, he told industry news siteGamblingCompliance that he will file a bill to ban to ban all online gambling, nationwide.
Such an effort has been pushed by Adelson, who has called Internet poker “a threat to our society — a toxin which all good people ought to resist,” and dismissed online gambling as “fool’s gold.” Adelson dismissed charges that the competition is bad for his businesses, arguing that “the impact on my company’s business would be limited.” Though Adelson has vigorously opposed online gaming, a coalition of other casinos oppose his proposed ban.
Oh yes, gambling is a toxin, a threat to society — says the man who has made more than $20 billion from gambling. A ball of hypocrisy that big couldn’t fit inside the Grand Canyon. The other big casino companies, like MGM Mirage and Caesar’s Entertainment, are in favor of online gambling. They recognize, correctly, that they can use online poker sites both for short-term profit and to feed customers to their brick and mortar properties. But Adelson sees only competition, so he’s demanding that regulations protect him from it.
But weeks earlier, the Adelsons had given even more help to the senior Senator from South Carolina. Las Vegas Sands PAC sent an additional $5,000 contribution to Team Graham — the legal maximum. And on April 30, 2013, the Adelsons hosted a high-dollar fundraiser for Graham at their Venetian hotel in Las Vegas. According to the event invitation, the Adelsons hosted Graham and “special guest” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) at their exclusive “Paiza Club” for an evening reception and policy discussion. The event, which cost $1,000 to attend, exclusively benefited Graham’s re-election campaign.
Adelson may be trying to break some sort of world record for scumbaggery. And Graham is happy to do his bidding for the right price.