Reposted from Foxpoker.com – written by Chris “Fox” Wallace
In this episode Fox makes a powerful enemy…
You may have heard of Sheldon Adelson, the CEO and founder of of the Sands Corp. here in Nevada. Sands Corp. owns the Venetian which is currently a popular poker destination, but may not stay that way for long if he keeps pissing off poker players. He has come out multiple times against online poker saying that it will be bad for families and for the business. This hypocrite runs one of the biggest gaming companies in the world and he says that poker can be addictive while blackjack is not? Seriously. But only online poker is addictive? His live action poker room is somehow different?
Adelson says this –
“”It’s a threat to our society — a toxin which all good people ought to resist,”
and another nugget of of hypocrisy here –
“”That skill base in my opinion is just a bunch of baloney. To get a card, that’s not skill based.”
and he is in support of strengthening the Wire Act to make online poker illegal.
In 1992 a law was passed, supposedly to protect amateur and professional sports form the evils of gambling, which makes betting on sports illegal except in states where it was legal at the time of the passing of the law. There were three other states with limited betting going on, but what the law basically amounted to was a monopoly for Nevada. The primary benefactors of the law, namely Vegas sportsbooks, spent lobbying money and probably a healthy number of bags of unmarked bills, supporting the law because it gave them an incredibly valuable monopoly.
Now Adelson wants the same thing for poker. He wants poker to be in his casinos, and in fact The Venetian just remodeled and expanded their poker room last year to make it one of the largest and busiest in the country. He just doesn’t want competition. Definitely not from the internet where expenses can be lower and lots of players can enter the market. I think he’s worried that the online poker rooms might kick his ass. What do we do in America when we run into competition?
I would like to say we get better and we learn from it and we offer a better service or a better product. The sad truth is that in today’s America we often just find a way to kill it. If our company is big enough, we do it by paying off lawmakers with campaign funds and dinners with lobbyists to get a law passed that protects our business and kills the competition. That is exactly what Adelson wants. And his company may have enough cash and influence to make it happen. They may try to take away our right to play a game of skill in our own homes because they don’t want to lose money. And who wins the battle of money vs. freedom? You know the answer to that. Freedom can hardly afford a lawyer.
But there might be a way to win this one. We are the source of the money. They make that money from us. If we stop going to the Venetian and the Palazzo, then their reason to oppose the law disappears because they aren’t making money from us anymore and there is nothing left to protect. We need to stop going to the Venetian. Not for a week. Not for the summer. Forever. If they don’t support us and our right to play poker, then we don’t support them.
Don’t just stop going to the poker room. Stop playing video poker, stop staying in the hotel, and tell all of your friends. When people hear about a boycott, they may not even care about why, they just go somewhere else. Sands Corporation is the number one enemy of online poker right now, and any real progress will be nearly impossible with their voice speaking out against it. Let their fancy new poker room sit empty for awhile and see if Adelson doesn’t change his tune.
I have some Venetian events on my schedule that I’ll have to skip, and I will miss the dinner breaks at the Lux, but I won’t go back into the place unless it’s to find some people at poker tables and tell them why they shouldn’t be there. If you have always wished there was something you could do, then now is your time. Stop going to the Venetian and the Palazzo and spread the word. Tell everyone you know. Post it on facebook and on twitter. Wear a Boycott Venetian t-shirt (I know someone who is working on getting them printed now). Do something.
If you are going to join the boycott, below are a list of excellent tournament series you can play instead. Cash games are great at The Wynn, Caesars, Aria, The Rio, The Bellagio, and a host of other rooms around town as well as The Golden Nugget downtown.
Caesars has a nice little series going in a beautiful, quiet, tournament room.
The WSoP has smaller buy-in deep stack daily tournaments three times a day in addition to the bracelet events and mid buy-in Carnivale events.
The Golden Nugget has a nice series going on, with a nice $1k main event.
The Aria is a great alternative to the crappy Venetian and their summer series is in full swing. The cash games are great too.
Binions has a nice series going on as well.
So go play somewhere else. You won’t see me in there unless it’s to hassle them about something. Clearly the Venetian doesn’t think we will do anything. They are so used to dealing with slot zombies that they really think that no matter what they do, we will just keep giving them action. Let’s show them that poker players are different and boycott the place. Anyone who plays there is giving money to a group that will spend it on lobbying efforts to stop online poker and we should let them all know how we feel about it.
Anyone who wants to make an effort to promote the Venetian boycott, or get the word about what Adelson is doing, should feel free to reproduce this blog post anywhere they like.