Conflict Brews Among Executives of the Gaming Industry Over Online Poker

Conflict Brews Among Executives of the Gaming Industry Over Online Poker



Anthony Marnell III, the president of M Resort, has joined Sheldon Adelson, the Chairman of the Sands Corporation, in declaring his opposition to online poker’s legalization and regulation in the United States. In a time when attempts to bring online poker back to the U.S. is under attack from the morality police, skittish lawmakers, and the religious right, opposition coming from those within the gambling community comes as a heavy blow.

In an interview over a television program in Nevada on December 13, or just a couple of days before the U.S. Department of Justice released a statement reversing its earlier decision that the Wire Act makes online poker unlawful, Marnell said that he is opposed to the online gambling’s legalization and regulation. In the opinion letter published by the DOJ, the federal government said that the Wire Act does not cover online poker.

Marnell said that with regards to the efforts towards legalizing online poker, “We’re pushing this way too far.”

Marnell was quick to add that he was voicing out his own personal belief and is not making a statement on behalf of the Penn National Gaming Foundation, which bought the M Resort last summer. Nevertheless, it was difficult not to notice that prior to the consummation of the M Resort’s sale, company officials revealed to market analysts that they do not favor, and are in fact opposing, efforts to make online poker legal.

The chairman of Penn National Gaming, Peter Carlino, told analysts last April, “My position has long been that online gaming is a bad idea.” According to some media reports last week, a Penn National Gaming spokesman reiterated the continued opposition of the company to online gambling when asked about it.