Monday, January 25, 2016

The Silence of the Sheldon

I have to admit, as the unofficial guy who watches Sheldon Adelson’s anti-online-gambling crusade online, I am a bit bored.  I regularly monitor (and troll) his online activities, and recently, there hasn’t been anything happening of note.  Actually, nothing of non-note, too.  Just nothing.

His Coalition to Stop Online Gambling website hasn’t posted anything new since mid-November, when Nevada AG Laxalt came out in support of his ill-fated RAWA bill in the House.  The CSIG Facebook page hasn’t posted anything since January 12, and they were very regular before that.  Granted, much of what they’ve posted since November has been rehashed trash that’s been roundly rejected and proven false.  But even this gets few likes and the only comments to be found are mine and fellow trolls of the Coalition to Counteract the CSIG.

How can we counteract bupkis?

Like a parent with young children, silence tends to make me worry.  In the past, when I didn’t see any signs of life on the sites, and things were this quiet, it was only a matter of time before Sheldon & Company sprang forth with a new co-sponsor, or a new survey, or something that showed that his “whatever it takes” mantra was back on the firing line. 

But now?  Perhaps being 0-for-2 with his insipid RAWA, getting less support each year, means that’s he’s re-thinking the battle.

Or maybe he’s just busy with everything else in his life.  He’s got his eye on Rubio the Republican Primary (another area his batting average is 0-for).  You all know he bought (another) newspaper.  But he’s also…

  • Trying to educate/pressure the LVRJ’s Editorial Board to reconsider their stance on medical marijuana in Nevada.
  • Flying Republicans not running for President (this year, anyway) to Israel.
  • His Bethlehem Sands casino in Pennsylvania got fined (again) for underage gaming, so perhaps he’s “thinking of the children!”
  • His newspaper in Israel is busy calling for assassination of Swedish officials.
  • His casinos aren’t doing all that well – LVS Corp is off 33% from a year ago, and it’s lost HALF its value since 2014.  Boo-frickin’-hoo.
  • And he’s got some legal problems.  Here, here, and here.
So yeah, maybe he’s too busy to worry about the potential for Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, California, and other states to legalize online gaming.  He’s certainly said nothing about Daily Fantasy Sports, an area I thought certain he’d weigh in on just because (a) its potential to take $$$ away from land-based gaming, and (b) DFS’s legality (as a gambling concerned) has been challenged in several states.  Plus (and this is the big one for me), DFS attracts TONS of young-adults aged 12-17 (perhaps 20% of the total in standard Fantasy Leagues) and for someone concerned “about the children” this seems like it should be an area of concern for him and his coalition.  But nothing said.  Just [crickets].
So where is Sheldon, and what’s he up to?

I do have one theory.  Years ago, on vacation in Las Vegas, we stopped by the Venetian (for the gelato) and saw a man doing the “Human Statue” thing.  He stands silent and motionless for quite some time (almost a half-hour), then at the end his assistant comes out to scoop up the tips and they leave, breaking the spell.

Look closely – it kinda looks like Sheldon, and the jester could be Andy Abboud*.  Works for me.  Unless I hear something from him or CSIG soon, I'll have to assume this is how he’s making up for Macau’s revenue drop.

* the jester could also be Marco Rubio, since he’s never in the Senate for votes.

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