According to attorneys representing the Las Vegas Sands Corporation in a long-running lawsuit with a former employee, anti-online gaming advocate Sheldon Adelson is in “dire” health and unavailable for deposition in the case. This news could have a seismic impact on the drive he has been at the forefront of – the eradication of online casino gaming and poker.
Court Transcripts Reveal Details on Adelson
During hearings on the ongoing lawsuit between the LVSC and a former casino executive who is suing for millions in payments for his work for the company, LVSC attorney Jim Jimmerson reported to District Judge Rob Bare that Adelson hasn’t been seen at the corporate offices since Christmas. As reported by journalist Howard Stutz, Jimmerson stated that he “recently learned of the dire nature of Mr. Adelson’s condition (and) health.” This notification was in response to the challenge of a February 22 motion that was looking to keep Adelson from being deposed in the lawsuit.
Neither the plaintiff in this case, Hong Kong casino executive Richard Suen, nor other attorneys involved in the case accepted this explanation. Las Vegas attorney Todd Bice suggested at the February 22 hearing that, if Adelson is in such ill health, perhaps the company should inform the Securities and Exchange Commission, due to the fact that Adelson is the majority stockholder in the LVSC and such information as to its leadership would be critically important. Also, the attorneys pointed out that, if Adelson was too ill to be able to give a deposition, then he would be too ill to run the company.
LVSC attorneys firmly stated at that time that Adelson was able to run the company, but the company did open up a bit more on Thursday. In comments to the Associated Press, spokesman Ron Reese of the LVSC stated that, “ Mr. Adelson is still dealing with certain side effects from medication he is taking for the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. These side effects have restricted his availability to travel or keep regular office hours.”
What Effect on Adelson’s Advocacy?
Beyond his support for the Republican Party and many of its candidates, Adelson most obvious advocacy has been in his pursuit to ban online gaming. Since 2011, when the Department of Justice reversed the Wire Act of 1961, Adelson has been at the forefront of the move to ban online gaming – casino, sports betting and poker – across the States of America. It has been Adelson – using the money from his ownership of the LVSC – who has bankrolled the efforts to stop online gaming, from the creation of the Coalition to Stop Online Gambling to campaign donations to politicians such as South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (and others) to sending LVSC personnel to actively testify in hearings against online gaming.
But what happens if Adelson suddenly passes away?
Adelson’s wife, Miriam, holds similar conservative ideas that her husband has, but it is completely unknown what is her stance regarding online gaming. If she, just as an example, didn’t have such vehement views on that subject as her husband, it could easily torpedo any movement that the anti-online gaming crowd currently has. It is also conceivable that, without their fearless leader to whip the rowers, such underlings as Andy Abboud (who has been a major face of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling) and others wouldn’t have their “sugar daddy” to be paying the freight anymore.
The 85-year old Adelson isn’t going to be around forever and, from the appearances and reports from several media outlets, it could be much sooner than expected. Where online gaming and even live casino gaming goes without one of its most powerful players will be a whole new world.