Following his keynote address at Global Gaming Expo 2014 (G2E) Steve Wynn’s current position on iGaming could best be termed as unpromising for iGaming advocates, as he continues to move closer and closer to Sheldon Adelson’s stance on iGaming, and further away from the position of quasi neutrality he seemingly adopted earlier this year.
Wynn spoke to packed house at G2E, closing out the day’s seminars and panel discussions on Tuesday. It should be noted, Wynn didn’t bring up iGaming during his prepared remarks, instead his response came during the end of the keynote address when he fielded submitted questions from the audience (one of four Wynn answered) that forced the casino magnate offer up his thoughts on online poker legislation.
Specifically, Wynn was asked for his thoughts on iGaming, and after a brief pause he simply stated “not much,” before pausing and answering the question more fully.
Wynn’s first reason for opposing iGaming legalization (which is not the same as supporting a ban) is the same reasoning he gave in February, saying he failed to see the business opportunity from online gambling. Wynn’s general position is the government will (over) tax the industry and the businesses won’t be able to make money.
Unfortunately, his opposition didn’t stop there, Wynn also reached into the Adelson playbook and conjured up an image of a kid and their parent’s credit card and several other improbable scenarios. He also speculated what would happen if something did go wrong (a hacking for instance) saying he was fearful that regulators would use it as an opportunity to enact new, stricter regualtions. While it’s easy to writeoff the scaremongering scenarios of children and other signs of the apocalypse, this second line of thought is one that may need further examination.
The most troubling aspect of Wynn’s remarks is it seems he is moving further and further into the Adelson camp; no longer content with opposing legalization, but pushing for a ban. Adelson and Wynn together would be an even more difficult foe to fight.
Wynn stated as much, saying he was closer to Sheldon’s point of view on this issue, and it’s hard to argue otherwise as he appears to no longer be solely looking at the issue economically. In fact, Wynn praised Adelson several times during his speech, although he was delivering the speech in Adelson’s house, at the Sands Expo Center.
Hopefully the ultrasuccesful business man will regret his parting statement, “I will take a pass on the Internet,” in the coming years.
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