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AGA hits back at Sands CEO Adelson over plans to ban online gaming

20th November 2013 9:36 am GMT

The American Gaming Association claims that any new government efforts to prohibit online gaming will unintentionally strengthen black market providers and create more risk for American consumers.

Responding to plans by Las Vegas Sands CEO and internet gaming sceptic Sheldon Adelson to create an advocacy group to push legislation to ban online gaming in the US, the AGA said “time and again, government efforts to prohibit use of everyday products have failed.”

“The internet cannot be forced back into the bottle – nor can market demand,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA, the lobbying group for the US casino industry. “We support pragmatism and strong regulation of online gaming that protects consumers, prevents underage play, ensures the integrity of the games and empowers law enforcement.

“New government efforts to prohibit online gaming will unintentionally strengthen black market providers, create more risk for American consumers, including children, and drive US jobs and potential revenues overseas.”

With real-money online gaming having already launched in Nevada this year, and New Jersey just days away from its own launch, Adelson has unveiled plans to create a new advocacy group, the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.

The group will push legislation to ban online gaming in the US, arguing that it poses a danger to vulnerable groups including children. It will be led by Wellington Webb, the former mayor of Denver, former New York Governor George Pataki and Blanche Lincoln, the former Arkansas senator.

Earlier this year, Adelson labelled online gambling as “fool’s gold” and a “societal train wreck waiting to happen.”

“As an industry leader, and more importantly as a father, grandfather, citizen and patriot of this great country, I am adamantly opposed to the legalization and proliferation of online casino gaming,” the billionaire casino executive wrote in Forbes.

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