Online Gambling Opponent Sheldon Adelson Dies
Tuesday certainly brought some mixed emotions to the poker world. Sheldon Adelson, the long-time opponent of online gambling, passed away after an extended battle with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The casino mogul was at one point the richest man in the world and was a staunch supporter of Israel. He was also one of the top supporters of the Republican party in his later years.
Adelson’s passing will certainly have ramifications and may even change the tide for online poker and online gambling in the United States.
Adelson Best Known By Poker Circles as a Villain
Many in the online gambling community known Adelson primarily as an opponent to online gambling. The staunch opponent to iGaming launched the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling and even helped to convince lawmakers to advance legislation to restore the Wire Act. The Restore America’s Wire Act never made it out of committee, but most viewed Adelson as the #1 threat to online gambling legislation in the country.
Adelson became less popular with Democrats in his later years due to his grandiose donations to the Republican party. He was a prominent donor to President Trump’s election and reelection campaigns. He helped to shape the Republican party, for good and bad.
Adelson Known as a Humanitarian in Israel
While the online gambling world looks at Adelson as a villain, Israel views him in a completely different light. Adelson was a prominent philanthropist and support of Israel for many years. His donations impacted the lives of many Israelis.
Adelson donated money to hospitals and universities in Israel and donated hundreds of millions to the Taglit-Birthright Project. He worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for everyone in Israel. Many see him as the person that convinced the United States and other countries to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
RIP, Sheldon Adelson.
May your memory always be for a blessing, as you have blessed the USA and Israel with your generous philanthropy.https://t.co/XGy2Vsymiy
— 🇺🇸 President-Elect Buckaroo Banzai 🇮🇱 (@michael_jaffe) January 15, 2021
Adelson was laid to rest on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Jews believe that those laid to rest on the Mount of Olives will be the first raised up during the resurrection.
No matter what the rest of the world thinks of Adelson, he will be seen as a hero in the eyes of Israel.
How Will Adelson’s Death Impact Online Gambling
To listen to some people talk about Adelson’s death, you would think that the world received a gift. This is unfortunate. While Adelson’s lobbying efforts negatively impacted online gambling, a man has passed. I encourage you to read the article at IsraelHayom.com to learn more about Adelson without the spin you’ll see at pro-gambling sites.
With that said, we’d be remiss to not at least discuss the potential future of online gambling without Adelson’s lobbying. While it is true that there will be less money spent trying to stop online gambling from happening, he was still just one cog in a process that’s been ongoing.
The death of Sheldon Adelson prompts a look at his legacy in the political sphere. Among poker players, he'll be remembered his fight to ban online poker. https://t.co/TWxd5Epd9v pic.twitter.com/PBLnuCTW7j
— UK PokerNews (@UK_PokerNews) January 16, 2021
Chances are we will no longer hear from the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, or if we do, it will be to a lesser extent. Odds are that his wife will focus on other endeavors that wage a war that her husband started.
What will this mean for online gambling? I don’t think that it will mean that we are about to see nationwide legalization. Instead, we will see less opposition to what will still be slow growth for the industry. The industry may grow slightly faster than it would if Adelson were still alive, but it would likely continue to grow regardless.
The biggest impact will be on the political sphere now that the GOP will not have their top donor any longer. That is where we will likely see the greatest change in the upcoming years. Without Adelson’s money, we are less likely to see Donald Trump 2.0 or a similar candidate ever again.