An outraged poker icon wants his fellow players to stand up against casino magnate Sheldon Adelson’s crusade against Internet gambling.
Longtime poker insider Nolan Dalla has called for a five-day boycott of all poker playing at the Venetian, the famed Strip property of Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands empire.
In a June 27 post on NolanDalla.com, he urges the local poker community to avoid playing cards in the casino’s poker room from the stroke of midnight July 22 to July 26.
“No poker at the Venetian,” Dalla wrote. “We must do something. We must take a stand. We must vote with our feet and our money.”
The cry for a boycott follows Adelson’s latest moves in a nasty public campaign against Internet gaming, now legal and active in Nevada. The casino started with an attack column on forbes.com, where he describes online gaming as “a societal train wreck waiting to happen.”
Adelson contends online gaming could cause massive layoffs in the casino community and drive throngs of children to gambling addictions.
The mogul followed his column with the launch of stopinternetgamlbing.com, a website urging state lawmakers and Congress to outlaw online gaming.
“Internet gambling is not a good bet for the future of America,” the site’s introduction says. “It takes gambling too far.”
Dalla contends that a boycott might make revenue “drop a little,” but “that’s not the point.”
“Let’s do whatever we can to create an empty poker room for five straight days,” he wrote. “Let’s show Adelson that the poker community will not sit passively and remain silent while he trashes our game and denies us our rights.”
“The reaction to what I’ve posted has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic and positive,” Dalla said. “People have come up to me to say ‘I’ve been looking for a channel for my frustration and this is it.’”
Leaders in the poker community have reflected Dalla’s disdain for Adelson’s campaign in the media, saying many players are angry.
John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, told ABC World News, “Nothing's being organized by us; but yes, we've heard, certainly, from plenty of outraged players. The fervor has increased since last week, with some saying they will never play the Venetian again."
Las Vegas Sands officials were not immediately available for comment Friday morning.