Friday, March 28, 2014


Meet the King Lear of slot machines:
A push by the billionaire casino magnate Sheldon G. Adelson to outlaw online gambling has ignited a bitter civil war in the gambling industry, dividing one of Washington's most powerful interest groups and posing a major test of the Republican donor's political clout.

Mr. Adelson's effort officially kicked off on Wednesday, when lawmakers, including a senator, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who has accepted tens of thousands of dollars in donations from the businessman and his family, introduced legislation originally drafted with Mr. Adelson's lobbyist.

The bill would close a three-year-old loophole in federal law by banning online gambling -- a growing industry that Mr. Adelson argues is bad for casinos and gamblers -- and shutting down online gambling in a handful states that recently legalized it.

The dispute has already largely sidelined the industry's powerful trade group, the American Gaming Association, after Mr. Adelson threatened to withdraw from the organization if it continued to back expanded online gambling, according to several industry executives....
I get that Adelson runs brick-and-mortar casinos and that online gambling threatens to cut into his business. But Adelson will be 81 freaking years old in August. He's worth $37 billion. In life's race, he won. That's basically the final score. Trying to run it up now makes him look like the Rolling Stones, who just seem more and more pathetic as they trot their septuagenarian greatest-hits show around the world every couple of years just to make more money they don't need.

I can understand that an idealistic sense of how American should be governed, or what might protect the state of Israel, might motivate Adelson well into old age, even if I don't agree with his ideals. But we're talking about casinos here. It's just work. Yeah, you built it, Sheldon, but that's done, and we all agree that it was done with great success. You just want to keep winning the game because, somewhere in the back of your mind, you really think you're not going to die.

I don't even know if an abstract sense of what's good for America even qualifies as one motivation for Adelson's interventions into politics -- he mostly just seems to want to rig the game for people like him beyond his death. That also seems to be the motivation of the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch, and even a non-plutocrat like Roger Ailes. The Kochs in particular seem to want to induce mass ignorance on fossil fuels and climate change just so purveyors of traditional energy will continue to rake in huge profits -- purveyors like themselves, even though they won't be around much longer. For that they're willing to tear apart the country. For that they're willing to support causes far outside their ambit -- Stand Your Ground, restrictions on abortion -- just to keep white heartlanders voting Republican. It's their life's work, even at the end of their lives. They refuse to stop trying to win even though they've already won. I don't get it.


Anonymous said...

When you're ruled by your animal need to gain more wealth (ie more power and status), you can't just turn it off. Those who must have more can never have enough. They're just as ruled by their genetic programming as any light-scattering cockroach.

Victor said...

You and I don't "get it," Steve, because neither one of us is a sociopath or a psychopath.

And here's a person who defines the word, "whore" (because sex-workers, after all, have some dignity, and are just workers who only have sex favors to sell):
Senator Limpseed Cornpone Grahamcrackers (R - SCloset)
"has accepted tens of thousands of dollars in donations from the businessman and his family..."

It's not news that many of our politicians are whores - it's how cheaply they sell their services.

"Tens of thousands of dollars" - that's like a sex-worker being willing to give a BJ for a nickel.

No dignity - and a cheap political whore.

aimai said...

Well said.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Why do you hate old people?

Why do liberals hate old people?

And why is that OK?

PJDurda said...

I don't hate old people (I'm nearly one myself). I just hate Sheldon Adelson and would if he were 25 and not 85. He and his business are despicable.

The New York Crank said...

I AM an old person and also a liberal. Liberals work to preserve the buying power of Social Security and the integrity of Medicare. We also work (so far without much effect) to prevent age discrimination in hiring.

Sheldon Adelson is not a typical old person. He's primarily an exceptionally greedy person. He is trying to take his money with him. I hope he succeeds, because that will at least get the money out of the hands of his heirs.

This seems to offend people like Phllo Vaihinger, who is evidently a young troll, which is not OK, at least not with me.

Yours very crankily,
The New York Crank

trnc said...

"... online gambling -- a growing industry that Mr. Adelson argues is bad for casinos and gamblers"

Exactly. You can tell that gamblers' odds are much worse online than at one of Adelson's casinos by the extremely tight profit margins in those casinos.

Unknown said...

Philo, are you snarking or just being a troll?

Ken_L said...

Why do some sporting champions keep on competing long after they are past their peak, tarnishing their reputations in the process? Why does John McCain keep pretending to be the Secretary of State, even when it's made him the least liked senator in the country and a joke amongst most conservatives? It's just who they are. If they stop, they might as well be dead.

John Taylor said...

Being greedy, grasping sociopaths made these people so wealthy. They can't switch it off.

Iain Roberts said...

I think you're being unfair to the Rolling Stones. If it was about the money, they could have retired decades ago. People buy those concert tickets, go to the show and have a great time. The band must enjoy it too -- standing in front of thousands of screaming fans is a rush that money can't buy. They're musicians and they will be until the day they die.

Similarly, Adelson will be a money-grubbing bastard until the day he dies. But instead of producing music that makes people happy, his legacy will be laws rewritten to benefit evil money-grubbing bastards like himself. It's pathetic really.