Online casino gambling has been around for many years and it cannot be denied that the industry creates an immense amount of revenue each year. It’s based on this point that the House Bill 649 in being supported and spearheaded by Rep. John Payne in Pennsylvania.
The bill is currently one of 5 bills being proposed by politicians in Pennsylvania in an attempt to rescue the state from debt and solve its budget crisis. The iGaming industry has a potential industry revenue of $300 million. While this may not solve all of Pennsylvania’s debt issues, it is a way of increasing the revenue without raising taxes.
While Payne’s bill has many supports, there are also those who do not agree with the movement. One such person is Sheldon Adelson who is against the legalization of online gambling in the United States.
Who is the CSIG?
Funded by Sheldon Adelson, the Coalition to Stop Internet Gaming, or CSIG, aims to fight and shutdown any opportunity for online gambling to gain traction in the USA. Sands Bethlehem Casino, one of the largest land-based casinos in Pennsylvania is owned by Adelson and therefore the CSIG has a very wealthy backing.
Anti-gambling commercial by the CSIG
In an attempt to turn more Pennsylvanian residents and politicians from supporting Payne’s bill, a short ad was recently released by the Coalition to Stop Internet Gaming. The coalition is no stranger to political attack ads, and this commercial is no different.
The short 30 second commercial urges viewers to put pressure on Payne and put a stop to his support of House Bill 649. There are many questions posed by the commercial, but the main question is whether or not the children of Pennsylvania are safe. The commercial asked: “Are Pennsylvania kids safe online?”
After the question posed, the text on the ad reads: “Not with Rep. John Payne, who is working hard to legalize predatory online gambling. News reports show these predators target our children online, even using Disney-looking cartoons to entice them to gamble. Seniors are especially vulnerable to promises of big-money payoffs, but there’s no payoff for Pennsylvania families. Call John Payne and tell him, ‘Predatory online gambling is not the answer.’”
Children at risk?
While the commercial eludes to “news reports” that show children being targeted, there is no mention of which news outlets are releasing these reports. The commercial shows a young boy looking very sad, apparently due to being targeted by online gambling ads.
The ad also mentions cartoonish characters being used to lure young children into gambling. While no specific characters, games or software creators are mentioned, it does seem point to creators such as Net Entertainment.
The only legal and already regulated online casinos in the US and closest to Pennsylvania are in New Jersey and Delaware. This gives the impression that the legal iGaming casinos are the ones attempting to lure small children into playing (and losing) real money on their sites.
Not only is the notion fairly preposterous and illegal, it’s ridiculous to consider that any legal online gambling establishment would target young children. The very act would surely have the casino shut down without a second thought.
Targeting senior citizens
Another factor mentioned in the commercial created by the Coalition to Stop Internet Gaming is that seniors are particularly vulnerable to the targeting by online casinos. The ad states that older people are promised more than what online casinos can deliver.
While senior citizens are welcome to gamble at online casinos just like anyone else over 18, it’s no secret that land-based casinos make a huge portion of their revenue from the deposits made by senior citizens. In fact, many land-based casinos go as far as organising special senior citizen days with promotions, specials and bus rides for the events.
It’s no surprise that Adelson’s Sands Bethlehem Casino has run and funded events exactly like this on a regular basis. It’s because of issues such as this, and the hypocrisy readily found in Adelson’s practices that make it difficult to many in the US to take him seriously.
It’s still to be seen what impact the commercial has on its viewers and whether or not it will affect Payne’s support of the House Bill at all, but it’s clear that there is much for Adelson’s supporters to consider.
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