Despite empirical evidence to the contrary, CSIG claims internet gaming will cannibalise land casino revenues and cost jobs
Sheldon Adelson's Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling has been active in Pennsylvania again this week as state senators introduced legalisation bill SB900 (see previous InfoPowa reports).
The main drive of the negative campaign mailers to state residents appears to be a claim that online gambling will cannibalise land casino revenues and throw thousands out of work.
That's despite widespread empirical evidence from land casino managements in the United States that shows the contrary to be the case, and suggests that instead online gambling enables land operators to strengthen brands and access a new demographics to boost land casino revenues.
Adelson's Sands land gambling group is the only one in Pennsylvania to actively oppose online gambling; other operators are keeping an open mind or have come out in support of internet gambling as long as licensing is confined to existing Pennsylvanian land casinos.
The publication Times-Tribune reported Sunday that the Pennsylvanian leader of the CSIG campaign, Mike Barley, has claimed without giving sources that:
"Our data suggests the more that you provide opportunity for folks to not travel and go to a casino as a destination, it's going to impact that casino with less gamblers and will ultimately put jobs in jeopardy."
Giving an opposing view to the Times-Tribune, the president of Mohegan Sun Pocono, Mike Bean, said that legalised in the right way – restricted to existing gambling licence holders – internet gambling will supplement the land casino business.
His comments mimic those made by Mount Airy Casino Resort officials at a legislative hearing last month; Mount Airey has a preparatory agreement with 888's All American Poker Network, should online gaming be legalised in the state.
Also weighing in against the CSIG claims was Casey Long, a spokesman for one of SB900's sponsors, Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati.
Long told Time-Tribune that SB900 has the potential to create significant tax revenues for Pennsylvania, and added:
"The claim that Internet gambling would hurt existing casinos and cost jobs has been proven patently false in other states which adopted Internet gambling. In addition, a vast majority of Pennsylvania casinos are supportive of Internet gaming and believe it presents an opportunity to expand and enhance their existing businesses."
Barley's local campaign urges residents to contact Republican Representative Aaron Kaufer to voice their opposition. Kaufer is new to the job, having replaced veteran Rep. Phyllis Mundy in January this year. Nevertheless, he voiced concerns about the potential damage internet gaming could cause, and appears to favour the CSIG cause.
Barley has also claimed that brick-and-mortar casinos are structured to monitor people with gambling addictions, and in the online environment there would be less safeguards for consumers gambling from home.
This unsubstantiated claim again takes little cognisance of the management and technological emphasis placed on responsible gambling by online operators and a strict requirement in properly regulated jurisdictions.
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa