The war between anti-online gambling magnate Sheldon Adelson and proponents of a regulated US market took a strange step, as an Adelson owned casino denied PokerNews access to a tournament last week.
PokerNews was scheduled to cover the Mid-Stakes Poker Tour at the Venetian Casino in Las Vegas, but the day before the tournament began, The Venetian informed PokerNews that it would not be allowed to cover the event. The well-regarded poker news group had covered all of the previous stops before the one hosted at The Venetian.
Later this weekend it was confirmed by a Venetian employee that the move was made because of PokerNews' pro online gambling stance, which is directly opposed by The Venetian's Chairman, Sheldon Adelson.
"Given our Chairman's clear position on the matter of online gaming, the Venetian/Palazzo made a business decision to not allow an online blog during the Mid-States Poker Tour event," said Venetian Executive Director of Poker Operations Kathy Raymond.
PokerNews Editor and Chief Donnie Peters fired back, noting: "It is now clear this was another political stiff arm against our industry that Sheldon Adelson is behind. It is unfortunate that one man's stance against poker holds such strength — and yes, I do mean poker as a whole and not just online poker, because Adelson is without a doubt hurting the overall growth of the game the more he fights against the virtual variant."
The tournament stop in Las Vegas was the first ever for the series, and brought in a record crowd of 854 people.