Casino group pulls support for online gambling


The industry group for American casinos announced it is withdrawing official endorsement for online gambling, dealing a major blow to the push for its U.S. legalization.

Karen Bleier | AFP | Getty Images

The Wall Street Journal reports that American Gaming Association chief executive Geoff Freeman concluded that online gambling was "an issue that the association cannot lead on" because of disagreement among major casinos. Companies such as MGM and Caesars have advocated for legalization, but Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson has led a national campaign against it. The difference of opinion has spilled into the public domain several times.

"One of the things I've learned in this industry is we are extraordinarily competent at shooting at one another," Freeman told The Journal. "The snipers in this industry are of the highest quality, and if you let that be the focus, we'll kill each other."

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Freeman submitted written testimony to Congress last year advocating for the legalization of online gambling, writing that the government should "make no mistake: online gaming is here to stay. The government cannot put the Internet back in the bottle."

His testimony claims that the current "futile attempts at prohibition" have driven online gamblers to a "thriving black market" with offshore times.

—By staff