Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Sheldon Adelson Closer To Winning Online Gambling Battle

The Justice Department offered a legal opinion that could further restrict online gambling — a move casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has been seeking, The Washington Post reported.

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel suggested that it could reverse an Obama-era rule that the Wire Act applied only to sports gambling. The opinion will probably be brought up in court.

Most online gambling is already illegal, to the satisfaction of Adelson, a GOP megadonor who controls Las Vegas Sands Corporation, one of the world’s largest casino empires. But adding the Wire Act to these other laws, like the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, means the Justice Department can bring cases more against online gambling sites.

Former senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas said in a statement Monday that the original version of the Wire Act was “as problematic legally as it was morally.” He spoke on behalf of the Adelson-backed Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.

According to federal lobbying records, Las Vegas Sands has paid Lincoln’s lobbying firm $210,000 since 2017.

“The change here will have some impact, but it doesn’t mean that large swaths of gambling that were once legal are now illegal and vice versa,” a Justice Department official with knowledge of the matter told the Post.

The official said the opinion was no discussed with Adelson or “any outside parties.”

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.