Pennsylvania Legislative Hearing on Online Gambling

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As the state of Pennsylvania hears arguments for and against legalizing online gambling, Andy Abboud, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for Las Vegas Sands, laid bare the repercussions of making gambling available on every Internet device during a hearing on April 16.

Perhaps most importantly, Mr. Abboud echoed the concerns of Las Vegas Sands Chairman, Sheldon Adelson, whose focus is not on the technical legal questions surrounding online gambling, but the moral impact to families.

From the beginning, Mr. Adelson has been acutely concerned with the dangers of online gambling as it pertains to addicts and children. With so many offshore and shady gambling operators online, there are serious concerns about crime, fraud, and “bad actors” taking advantage of these vulnerable groups.

Mr. Abboud also pointed out that despite the assurances of online security firms, the hacking scandals in the news, including breaches of major corporations and government agencies, clearly demonstrates the lack of control and vulnerability in online gambling ventures.

Finally, Mr. Abboud made clear the negative economic impact on brick and mortar casinos currently operating in Pennsylvania. Rather than adding a new revenue stream, online gambling likely cannibalizes gambling dollars from brick and mortar sites. The effect is less money spent with area businesses who depend on casino guests and the potential loss of Pennsylvania jobs at casinos, all while making online gambling more attractive and available to underage audiences.

Take a stand today and let Congress know that you support a ban on Internet gambling for the protection of American families.

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