Is Sheldon Adelson softening his stance on regulated sports betting inside the United States? If a recent editorial in the Adelson-owned Las Vegas Review-Journal is any indication, the answer to that question is a soft, “yes.”
Late last week, the Review-Journal posted an article titled, Reports calls for end to federal ban on sports betting. The article, written by Richard M. Velotta, goes on to detail a recent report produced by the Libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington D.C. think tank.
The report itself doesn’t cover much new ground in terms of advancing arguments for lifting the US prohibition on sports betting. A representative passage reads:
Legalizing sports betting would produce substantial social and political benefits by exposing billions of dollars in economic activity to the sunshine of legitimacy…Decriminalization would renew respect for the law by individuals who see gambling on sports as a valid form of entertainment for adults. Allowing bookies and authorities to work together to stop match fixing — which is in both of their interests — would bolster the integrity of sports.
What’s particularly unusual about this article is the fact that it appears in Adelson’s paper at all, with a positive spin no less. Adelson, a billionaire political activist who made his fortune in casinos and conventions, is no friend of legal sports betting (or online gambling). Furthermore, the Las Vegas Review-Journal is a well known mouthpiece for expressing Adelson’s opinions to the world. In short, there’s nothing in that newspaper that stands in opposition to the Adelson worldview.
So the question now is whether or not this tea leaf reading Adelson’s media outlet reveals a new view on sports betting or the work of a rogue reporter? Adelson’s words and actions on this subject in the months ahead are definitely worth watching.