The plans Adelson laid out include making space for an additional 1,500 rooms at the Marina Bay Sands, whichcurrently has about 2,500 rooms. Extra space was also requested for meeting rooms, exhibitions and ballrooms.
According to the Jewish Business News, Adelson said “we need more rooms,” and added that the hotel is “running at 100% occupancy; on a very bad day it’s 98%. No other hotel in the world runs like this except some in Vegas.”
The Marina Bay Sands resort, valued at $6 billion, opened four years ago when the Singapore government first permitted gambling in the region. Adelson reportedly noted out the resort “has been a catalyst for enormous tourism growth.”
As it stands, the Marina Bay Sands has became a favorite among the Asian gambling market, as the hotel currently features more than one million square feet of meeting and convention space, along with two theatres for Broadway shows. This hotel, along with the two Adelson-owned operations in Macau have placed Adelson at the top of the Asian casino market.
Las Vegas Sands had previously announced it’s willingness to spend $10 billion in Japan as well, provided the nation would open up to gambling, which it currently does not welcome.
Also recently, the Poker Players Alliance, which the Jewish Business News explained is an American national organization of poker players, is strongly in favour of online gambling. The alliance recently announced that as the United States will soon see the “ introduction of renewed federal anti-online gambling legislation in the United States.”
Adelson has been on the record as firmly opposing online gambling, unlike other casino competitors of his who are trying to raise it’s popularity in New Jersey and Nevada, where the Jewish Business News reported “state laws have now been passed which legalize it under strict geo-location conditions.”
The PPA is claiming that Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is set to introduce a new Senate bill to ban online gambling, in addition to overriding the new state laws in Nevada and New Jersey.
Despite previously being illegal, recent Federal Justice Department guidelines had softened the federal government’s stance against online gambling, thereby allowing states to create laws independent of the federal government.
The Jewish Business News reported that the PPA claims that Graham, along with Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, plans to introduce the bill, which will call for a renewed federal ban on internet gambling. Chaffetz has long been on the record as seeking to “restore a longstanding United States policy that the Wire Act prohibits all forms of Internet gambling.”
Sheldon Adelson’s opposition to online gambling is clearly to protect his business interests, but he has added a moral principle to his opposition: he claims online wagering is “bad” on social behavioural grounds.
The Jewish Business News has quoted Adelson as saying that he supports and applauds “all efforts to restore the long-standing interpretation that the Wire Act prohibits Internet gambling. It’s common sense that putting a virtual casino in the pocket of every American with a phone is bad public policy.”
And, on a final note, as Adelson and his wife Miriam just hosted the Republican Jewish Coalition gathering in las Vegas, his political lobbying could prove fruitful in his efforts to prohibit online gambling.