Sheldon Adelson's Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling has released a television ad where it warns Americans on the "dangers" of online betting, using sensationalized examples of how it feels online betting assists mobsters and terrorists in nefarious activities.
The advertisement uses selective portions of a letter sent by the FBI to a US Congressman which spells out possible money laundering threats, but doesn't really give any evidence to back up its claims.
Honing in on the fears of Americans, the ad states: "While the FBI is busy defending against terrorist threats and cyber attacks, Internet gambling will give criminals across the world a foothold in every American household, attracting criminal activity not only at home but internationally."
The ad quickly received criticism from Poker Players Alliance Executive Director John Pappas, who said: "The notion that licensed and regulated Internet poker would be an attractive conduit for terrorism financing is on its face laughable. There isn't a shred of evidence to support this, except for far-fetched claims manufactured by this coalition."
Adelson, who owns the Las Vegas Sands Corporation (a major Las Vegas casino brand) has said that he will do whatever it takes to get online gambling outlawed in the United States, and has reportedly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars organizing smear campaigns and hiring lobbyists to attack the online betting industry.
Adelson is not without critics though, as several US gaming lobbying groups such as the PPA and American Gaming Association have come out against the gambling magnate. They claim his view is based on fear of competition, and note that Adelson's claims on money laundering are hypocritical, as Las Vegas Sands had to work out a deal with the US Justice Department to settle a money laundering case.
Casino Listings will update this story as more developments arise, but in the meantime we have linked into the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling's ad, which can be viewed below: