Let’s Not Forget That Sheldon Adelson is a Bullshitting Hypocrite

Flushdraw’s Haley Hintze recently wrote about the reported impending sale of Pennsylvania’s Sands Bethlehem Casino, currently owned by Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. (I’m sure Haley loves her name in the same introductory sentence as Adelson’s). If the sale to MGM does happen, as is rumored, Pennsylvanians should be thrilled that Adelson’s presence will be deleted – or at least greatly diminished – from their state. That’s not just because he wants to ban online poker around the country and has spearheaded efforts to get anti-online gambling legislation passed in Washington, D.C. It’s because, while doing that, he is a complete hypocrite, totally full of shit, and despite being a successful casino magnate, generally has no idea about which he speaks.

I’m not going to go through everything Adelson has ever done or said; this would be a fifty part piece otherwise. I’ll just hit on a few recent highlights.

Adelson’s Mouth Noises

In May 2014, Adelson gave a baffling interview to Bloomberg in which he attempted to argue why he was in favor of an online gambling ban.

“Wherever we can control it, we should control it. Those kinds of things, ‘sins.’ The sin activities should be controlled.”

To that I say, “YES!” Regulate online poker! Control it! Good! But of course, Adelson is equating “control” in this case to “prohibit,” so he is talking out of his ass.

“For instance, here in the land based casinos, we’re required to have the dealers shuffle the cards a certain way. How do you do that on the internet? Here, we’re not supposed to allow under-aged people to gamble. How do you do that on the internet? There’s no technology that a kid can’t get around.”

Either you are a fucking idiot or a fucking liar and I’m guessing it’s a combination of both. Like does he think that there is a tiny person inside the video poker machines at the Venetian who shuffles a physical deck of cards?

And when the interview humored him by saying that maybe the regulations had to “catch up to the market,” Adelson replied with an answer that made my sphincter clench, “There’s nothing to regulate. I’m regulated in four different jurisdictions. I don’t know of one regulation that would apply to internet gaming.”

He continued his mind-numbing numb-mindedness, saying that you can’t tell someone’s age on the internet, can’t tell who is gaming responsibly, can’t detect money laundering, etc. Of course, we know that is all incorrect.

He tried to brag about how the people who visited his luxurious casinos were wealthy and how it was poor people who would be playing online poker (and at the same time being exploited by it). His defense of the question about him being scared that online gambling would cut into his brick and mortar business was literally that it wouldn’t because online gamblers can’t afford to go to his awesome casinos. He’s right that online gambling won’t cannibalize his business, but he’s arrogantly wrong as to why.

Sands Bethlehem Might Need a Daycare

Now that we’ve established just one instance in which Adelson spewed bullshit, let’s show why it’s bullshit. Sheldon Adelson insists that his land-based casinos are safer than online sites because on the internet, you don’t know if someone is a kid or not. After all, if someone underage walks into a casino, security can see them and escort them out.

You don’t say?

The very Sands Bethlehem that may be sold this year has been fined multiple times by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) for allowing people under the age of 21 to gamble. In the summer of 2015, for instance, there were three documented instances of underage gambling at Sands. A 19-year old woman, for example, walked right on in through the main entrance, showed an identification that was expired and not even hers, and was on the gaming floor for nearly five hours.

Another 19-year old man gambled for almost two and a half hours after showing someone else’s ID.

For those and one other instance from the summer of 2015, Sands Bethlehem was fined $36,000.

In June 2014, the casino was fined $85,000 for six underage gambling incidents that occurred from June 2013 to January 2014. In those cases, two of the teenaged gamblers also drank alcohol on the casino floor.

All told, from June 2010 through January 2016, there were 30 reported underage gambling violations at Sands Bethlehem, resulting in $341,000 in fines. But Sheldon Adelson’s properties are impenetrable, right?

Let’s Try the Venetian

The Venetian

But maybe that’s just a problem with Adelson’s Pennsylvania property. Surely in Las Vegas, where casino gambling has been regulated for decades, things would be well under control.

Perhaps not.

In 2015, a poker player named Tim James (whose site, TheTimJamesShow.com, no longer exists), put together a video spliced with clips of Adelson’s Bloomberg interview in which he took two 19-year olds to the Venetian and filmed them having absolutely no problem gambling.

The 19-year old woman gambled everywhere in the casino, including the poker tables, and was even served alcoholic beverages five times. All she had to do was show a fake ID. When she went to cash out at the cage, the cashier simply asked her if she was 21, to which she said yes.

Afterward, James and his accomplice went back to a hotel room and tried to register for WSOP.com, a legal, regulated site in Nevada. She failed on all five attempts, no matter whether she used her real or fake ID.

James also recorded the exploits of a 19-year old man who was able to gamble without any resistance without any identification whatsoever.

Sheldon Adelson, bullshitting hypocrite.


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