Libertarian thinker and free market advocate Ron Paul recently criticized Sheldon Adelson’s efforts to ban online gambling. Paul suggested that politicians considering passing Adelson’s bill are catering to special interests over the needs of the American people.
Paul said that these politicians are disingenuous with their intentions. They claim that an online
gambling ban is necessary to protect the American people, while deflecting attention from the fact that Adelson donated nearly $100 million to their respective campaigns in the 2012 election. Paul pointed out several hypocrisies the proponents of the bill have laid out:
- Adelson supporters argue that the bill is necessary to promote states’ rights, although it would force three states to disband their online gambling industries and prevent other states from proceeding with legislation that would regulate the industry.
- These proponents claim that online gambling is used to fund terrorist activities. However, the online gaming providers that engage in money laundering offer their services on the black market. Paul points out that banning online gambling would likely grow the black market and be counterproductive in the campaign against terrorism.
- They also argue that banning online gambling would reduce the risk of addiction and other social risks. However, many people are already playing over the Internet on sites that offer few social protections.
Paul staunchly believes in protecting liberties and argues that the government has no place telling
citizens that they can’t use social risks to justify violating them. He said that the government will use arguments about social risks to justify censoring the Internet in the same way that it used fear of terrorism to justify passing the Patriot Act and expand the NSA surveillance program.
Paul’s post was shared on a number of communities on Reddit. The liberal posters in r/politics set aside their usual disdain for Paul to heavily criticize Adelson for his commitment to ban activities that he does not approve of.
“”So the same guy who put up 85% of the money to block medical marijuana in FL gets to decide where we can gamble?”, stated Reddit user chidave
A number of Redditors have also criticized Adelson for his hypocrisy both regarding online gambling and other activities that he has lobbied against.
“While casino mogul and GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson has reportedly poured millions into the fight against legalizing medical marijuana in Florida, his money has also been used to produce a promising study about medical marijuana’s potential for treating multiple sclerosis.”, Reddit user Bizarro_Bacon posted.
Other commenters believe that Adelson is unwittingly acting against his own interests:
“If Adelson gets his way he’ll likely end up being the one who suffers the most. Because basically a lot of people who want to use online casinos will just go to illegal ones not hosted in the US. Under this law Adelson will be preventing himself from being able to compete online against those illegal black market casinos.”, Reddit user ShadowLiberal asserted.
Although the majority of Americans seem to be opposed to efforts to ban online gambling, Adelson and other special interests groups will continue their lobbying efforts unless Citizens United is overturned.
Paul pointed out that citizens across the political spectrum have grown wary of crony capitalism. Nevertheless, Adelson and other special interests continue to spend hundreds of millions of dollars each
Paul summarized his post by arguing banning online gambling will expand the surveillance state. He stated that Americans should recognize that the efforts are being pushed by a single billionaire at the expense of the American people. Online gambling advocates will need to continue efforts to thwart Adelson’s attempt to ban the industry.