February 11, 2019 3 min read


Adelson Suspected in Interfering with DoJ’s Decision on Wire Act

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson’s stance on online gambling in the United States has not been impartiality. Mr. Adelson has long led what he assumed to be the good fight, trying to tighten the legal screws and bring down online gambling in the U.S. He thinks he has succeeded, but PokerStars pros are now speaking out.

Mr. Adelson Has Won the Battle – Here’s What Opponents Have to Say

Sheldon Adelson, the notorious casino mogul, has won what many considered to be an unfair fight. Having failed to use Capitol Hill to sway public and political opinion against the online gambling industry, Mr. Adelson has long been surrounding himself with complacent yes-men and cronies.

None were the happier to do Mr. Adelson’s biding, though than attorney general Jeff Sessions and lobbyist Charles Cooper. The incompetence of the current administration aside, Mr. Cooper drafted a memo back in 2017 which today is what we call the Opinion threatening to undo all progress online gambling has made.

Mr. Cooper passed the memo to a high-ranking Department of Justice (DoJ) official with the help of Darryl Nirenberg, a lawyer, who made sure that the document made it to the Office of Legal Counsel.

The Fallout- An Irate Poker Community

Many people have remonstrated against the reversal of the 2011 interpretation of the Wire Act, warning against the damages that would entail. PokerStars ambassadors Chris Moneymaker, Jason Somerville and Daniel Negreanu have been busy expressing their dissatisfaction via Twitter and in private.

The general attorneys of New Jersey and Pennsylvania both issued a petition based on FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) looking into the exact manner in which the decision has been reached.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post did what the media does well by delivering a thorough account of the events leading up to the reversal of the opinion.

Mr. Adelson’s involvement wasn’t hush-hush in the slightest. Last month, the Wall Street Journal paid a closer look to the developments leading up to the U-turn with regards to the OLC’s interpretation.

For Sen. Lindsey O. Graham, the move has been a natural development, with the Senator fully agreeing with the decision:

Restoring the original interpretation of the Wire Act takes great strides to protect children and society’s most vulnerable. It will also be a blow to criminal elements that tried to take advantage of the failed Obama policy.

Mr. Graham talks about protecting people and yet he remains cynical, ignoring the fact that left without legal options to bet, customers would flock to offshore operators. True, some will come to Mr. Adelson’s own properties, which apparently makes it the morally superior choice in the end.

Chris Moneymaker was another noteworthy personality from the world of poker to pay attention to the developments in the sector and re-share the Washington Post article:

Mr. Negreanu didn’t miss an opportunity to describe Mr. Adelson in rather more vivid terms. Meanwhile, Matt Whitaker, the acting attorney general has formally declined any involvement on the part of Mr. Adelson.

It’s interesting to see where things will go, but as they stand – there’s a lot of tension with regards to the future of poker and gambling industries in the United States, and Mr. Adelson’s faction seem to be quite happy with the discontent they have sowed.

Should the crops fail, though, they will be in a lot of trouble.


As an avid follower of sports and the newly recognized industry of esports, Heidi uses her expertise to help the team push out the best sports content. She is also continually learning more about the gambling industry in general and pushes out a variety of content.

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