Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sheldon Adelson

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Marijuana War
Where will you be, when the weed war starts?

While Colorado has enjoyed an economic injection of $2.4 billion since legalizing recreational marijuana, they’re primary competitor for tourists has been scenic view and mountain slopes.

When recreational marijuana starts tomorrow in Nevada, they are feared by some to cut into casino profits.

The casino industry was opposed to “Question 2” which approved the recreational use of marijuana, and their public excuse was that they didn’t not feel approving the drug would improve tourism.

However, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson donated $2 million to a group named “Protect America’s Children” that unsuccessfully fought to defeat the referendum to decriminalize pot use and possession for those under the age of 21.

Adelson also fought a national effort against online gambling to “protect the children.”

Hypocrite much?

Like many of the ultra-wealthy, Adelson (who is worth an estimated $28.9 billion) was likely protecting his personal holdings in the casino industry.

The question remains, why would the gaming industry by opposed the legalization of marijuana?

Many studies have linked marijuana use to “problem gambling” and even “pathological gambling.”

Many have speculated that casinos simply will not be able to immediately profit from the sale of cannabis in their casinos due to many factors.

Unlike a cigar store that can open up easily, only a certain amount of slots will be provided by the state for cannabis dispensaries.

Additionally, since marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, casinos would run into banking issues in the event they profited off of the plant.

Finally, carving out non-smoking sections has been a priority for casinos in the last several years with even mega casinos like the MGM Grand going smoke free. Legalization would create yet another zone to carve out.

But the issues above are minor in comparison to the main reason why casinos gate marijuana legalization – it cuts into their profit margins.

If tourists are spending their dollars on joints instead of blackjack, or cush instead of craps, the casinos will see profits burn away.

Expect an intentional effort to highlight every negative incident related to marijuana legalization and a push to reverse that will be bought and paid for by casino owners.

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Fantasy Sports

It didn’t take long for a casino mogul to set his sights on the world of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS).

Millions of sports fans around the nation have joined Fantasy Football leagues to put down a few bucks based upon their skill and knowledge of players.

A digitally organized version of the old office pool, DFS players take it to the next left and are willing to put their dollars at stake to prove themselves on the virtual field.

The online players cozy up to their laptops from the comfort of their arm chairs to place bets and pick the winners in their league . . . the home comfort zone has placed these players and their facilitators like DraftKings and FanDuel in the cross hairs of regulators.

Why?

They’re under scrutiny because of what they are NOT doing . . . traveling to Vegas and throwing money away at a casino.

So far, Texas and several other states have ruled that DFS is illegal . . . and they’re not done yet.

Rather than build an online competitor to DraftKings and FanDuel, Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson would rather pull from the pages of Atlas Shrugged and use the force of government to knock out the competition.

The casino mogul has vowed to “spend whatever it takes” to kill online gambling.

The owner of the Las Vegas Sands corporation has said his crusade to stop online gambling is . . . get this . . . “a moral issue.”’

The 82 year-old gambling mogul uses the old tried and true “it’s for the children” argument claiming that there are no safeguards to protect the young and vulnerable from betting their allowance online.

The mogul forgot about the primary protector of children . . . parents.

Logic, however, does not matter when a billion dollars are at stake.

In 2014, DraftKings and FanDuel reported $1.26 billion in entry fees alone . . . a number that surely increased in 2015.

DraftKings itself produced a weekly profit of around $1.9 million in 2015.

The rapidly growing pastime likely has Adelson fuming over profits that he’s not taking in his brick-and-mortar casinos.

Adelson’s viewpoint does have some backers, including the Las Vegas Review Journal, that recently published their strong opinion that DFS should be regulated.

Oh wait, that’s right . . . Adelson owns the Las Vegas Review Journal.

So scratch that . . .

Outside of Christian right groups that have been funded by Adelson (or are attempting to attract the billionaire’s funding), few support the regulation.

But thanks to the corruption of political influence and dollars, Adelson is winning at the state level.

Look for the ban on DFS to come to your state, if it’s not already there.

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online gambling

While the federal government has done all it can to stomp out online gambling, overseas betting houses have been laying down odds and taking bets on U.S. political races for years.

Betting on politics in Vegas, is illegal. The state of Nevada outlawed betting on federal elections in 2014.

However, with a few clicks of the mouse and a few tricky funds transfers, political enthusiasts can bet big on the election . . . and the payouts are enticing.

Here are the latest odds in the race for the GOP nomination from the U.K. gambling site, totesport:

  • Donald Trump: 1/1
  • Marco Rubio: 9/4
  • Ted Cruz: 6/1
  • Jeb Bush: 9/1
  • Chris Christie: 28/1
  • John Kasich: 40/1
  • Ben Carson: 100/1
  • Carly Fiorina: 200/1
  • Rand Paul: 250/1
  • Mike Huckabee: 250/1

Note that Paul Ryan has locked in better odds than Fiorina, Paul and Huckabee at 150/1.

U.K. odds makers either know something we don’t know or are slipping on their odds as placing Cruz at 6/1 seems like a bad bet for the house. A $100 bet on Cruz would pay out $600 if the Canadian-born senator were to win the GOP nomination.

As for Trump, betting on the billionaire just doesn’t pay with the favorable odds. A $100 bet would yield $100.

A bet on Trump would still perform better than putting dollars down on Hillary Clinton who holds 1/6 odds over Sander’s 7/2 odds. As in life, a $100 online bet with Hillary would empty your pocketbook and payout only $16.67.

While those open to gambling would be smart to bet on Cruz, the action may be condemned by the candidate. Cruz has been attempting to win the support of Sheldon Adelson who has been unabashedly using corporate cronyism to kill online competition (Adelson owns brick-and-mortar casinos). If pushed, Cruz is likely to side with Adelson to curry favor.

On the other hand, Trump wants no limits on online gambling as the United States is, in his opinion, losing out to foreign corporations who dominate the online gaming industry due to federal regulations.

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