Atlantic City Bets on Internet Gambling

For six years business has been downright depressing in Atlantic City. Now casinos in the city are hoping that internet gambling will help them to remain profitable. Some say that internet gambling could actually hurt Atlantic City. If players can gamble online they are less likely to visit the casinos. The casino industry in Atlantic City could take a hit if players avoid making trips to casinos to gamble. Some casino interests are opposed to internet gambling. Last week casino magnate Sheldon Adelson wrote an op-ed for Forbes magazine dripping with hypocrisy. In one of the more ridiculous statements Adelson said “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.”

Adelson’s ‘article’ was prompted by the legalization of internet gambling in three states. Adelson called internet gambling “a societal train wreck waiting to happen” and said he worries about underage gambling. In the op-ed Adelson stated “When gambling is available in every bedroom, every dorm room and every office space, there will be no way to fully determine that each wager has been placed in a rational and consensual manner.” Funny thing is Adelson does not require that wagers be placed in a rational and consensual manner” in his many casinos.

Adelson swears on a stack that he is not concerned about his own selfish business interests and says he is worried about other brick and mortar casinos and their employees. Adelson said “While the impact on my company’s business would be limited, the hit on other commercial casinos, Native American casinos, and racetrack-casinos across the land could be substantial and even lead to their eventual demise.” Adelson’s article did not sit well with players and thousands of poker [players are trying to organize a boycott of Adelson’s poker room at the Venetian in Las Vegas.

Most Atlantic City casinos are putting out the welcome mat for internet gambling. New Jersey plans to allow several forms of gambling including internet bingo, slots, blackjack and most casino and table games. Earlier in the year Dennis Farrell Jr., a Wells Fargo analyst, wrote that internet gambling could increase casino revenues by $650 million to $850 million during the first year of legalization. Farrell does not believe that online gambling will hurt casinos. Farrell wrote “Opponents of the bill believe online gaming will lead to job losses at brick-and-mortar casinos,” he wrote. “We beg to differ, as we believe online gaming sites operated by state casino operators will lead to job creation and drive visitation to Atlantic City.”