With the Las Vegas Sands Corporation’s Venetian Casino Deep Stack Extravaganza wrapping up for the summer, some notable poker pros possibly picked an odd time to try to make a statement to Sands CEO and very vocal online gambling opponent Sheldon Adelson this week.
Despite a planned five-day boycott of the large and generally well-attended poker room at Venetian’s Las Vegas property that was to start on July 22 (the day after the Deep Stack ended), it appeared to be pretty much business as usual in the spacious and well-heeled room.
But that hasn’t stopped some local poker pros from letting Adelson know what they think of his virulent “no Internet gambling” stance.
“This isn’t a fight about profits,” claims poker player Nolan Dalla, who initially blogged for a protest back in late June. “It’s about making a statement. Let’s do whatever we can to create an empty poker room for five straight days.” Nolan apparently forgot to remind all the tourists and grinders about this “Don’t Occupy” movement, as none of them seemed to even be aware of it. That didn’t keep Dalla from patting himself on the back for his non-boycott though.
“Frankly, I don’t think there is a metric to measure how effective the boycott will be,” Dalla said. “This was about awareness, and to that end, we have been successful.” A spokesman for Las Vegas Sands Corp. had nothing to say about any of it.
Adelson’s Anti-Online Gambling Stance
The boycott concept was hatched because Adelson has launched a rather prosaic website with the goal of persuading lawmakers to vote against online gambling – despite the fact that Internet poker is already up and running in Nevada, and that New Jersey plans to unfurl casino gambling online in November. Adelson has referred to online gaming as “a societal train wreck waiting to happen” and adds he believes it “is not a good bet for the future of America.”
Specifically what about online versus land gambling is so insidious, Adelson hasn’t made clear; and he stands largely alone among his casino magnate colleagues in his views. In fact, most have teamed up with technology partners in Nevada and/or New Jersey to get on board the online gravy train that appears to be barreling towards us all.
Not every pro in town was behind the idea of a Venetian boycott, however; Poker Hall of Famer Linda Johnson said she couldn’t go along with it and didn’t “want to see any of the employees hurt who work at the Venetian.”
Looks like they’re safe, for now, anyway; and Adelson hasn’t budged an inch.