Casino Mogul's Comment Will Infuriate Every Serious Poker Player

Sheldon Adelson was on BloombergTV earlier, arguing against the legalization of online gambling.

As the CEO of Las Vegas Sands, a big physical casino company, his opposition to online gambling is understandable, except… he says it’s not about the money or the business. Instead he says, it’s all about how online gambling is bad for society, since gamblers can get so hooked.

During the interview he also made a comment that should infuriate poker players.

He says there should be no special exemption for online poker, since it’s a game of luck, not skill.

Here are his exact words:

On not making an exception for the skills based Poker:
“That skill base is, in my opinion, just a bunch of baloney. To get a card is not skill base. I know people say it is skill based, but it’s just so they can categorize it in a certain segment.”

On making an exception for online poker:
“Absolutely not. Look, I’m a father, grandfather. I do not want my children – I’m a veteran of the Korean War. I do not want my children to have the opportunity to become addicted to gaming. And poker, in my opinion, would become one of the most addictive games. People do not get addicted to necessarily playing blackjack. They get addicted for the game. It is one of the many compulsive behaviours and somebody is addicted to gaming, they are addicted to some other compulsive behaviours. Can you tell me one good reason why internet gaming should be allowed.”

That poker is a game of skill, not luck, is an article of faith among avid poker players.

Sure, you can have a bad beat here or there, or maybe someone flops a set of aces to beat your set of kings, but the idea is that that’s just noise, and that because poker is a game of skill over time the better player will win out.

Anyway, because poker pros argue that it’s a game of skill, they think that even if online gambling remains broadly illegal, that online poker should perhaps still be eligible to be played online. And so for Adelson, it’s important to slam poker to make his broader anti-online gambling argument.

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