Does betting online make you a bad person?

Jun 20, 2013 |
By: Jon Campbell

In case you missed it an Op-Ed in Forbes by Sheldon Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., was a hot topic in the gaming industry this week.

In summary, Adelson says online gambling is "a threat to our society—a toxin which all good people ought to resist."

With all due respect to Mr. Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate, anyone who's ever wagered responsibly online can't help but be totally insulted by this statement. It implies pretty clearly that you're a bad person if you bet online.

That's quite a judgment.

"On the other hand, when a person makes an effort to get dressed," Adelson writes, "join some friends and head to the local casino for a night of entertainment they must show themselves as adults, and their behavior can be observed and ultimately managed by security and other staff if needed."

I could be wrong here but I don't think putting on clothes and meeting up with friends ever stopped people from doing horrible things. Ask any casino manager how he or she enjoyed NBA All-Star Weekend in 2007 as just one of a million examples.

But don't let me get in the way of a proper defense of Adelson's comments. One of the best Twitter follows in the sports betting biz - @AnonymousGamblr, oddsmaker for Sports Interaction - was on fire on Thursday.

To give you an idea, the AG was heating up before I stepped out for lunch and when I returned a short time later he'd posted 40 more Tweets on the subject.

A sampling:

More Tweets go on to address specific statements from the Adelson column and they're worth checking out.

This all comes, of course, as online gaming is set to explode in states like Nevada and New Jersey with others lining up to get in on the action. Fighting it is like asking the tide to stop rolling in.

The question then needs to be: How do we regulate and monitor this?

Because we already know prohibition doesn't work and this business has never waited for government to catch up.


-- A story in The Guardian this week says data shows that 4.3 percent of UK iPhone owners are using sports betting apps.

-- Oral arguments will be heard in the New Jersey sports betting case June 26. Meet the judges for the case, one of whom ruled against Delaware in its fight for legalized single-game wagering.

-- The global market for Social Gaming is forecast to bring in approximately $14.6 billion (with a 'b') by 2015 according to this report.

-- We're about to enter the final week where the Senate can rubber stamp bill C290 in Canada to legalize single event betting. has started an "Illegal Sports Betting Accumulator" that shows the tax revenue on over $18 billion has flown out the window since this bill was introduced.

-- 18 were arrested in an alleged sports betting ring in San Diego this week.

-- More charges were made in connection with alleged activities with Legendz sportsbook and another operation with servers in Costa Rica this week..

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