as Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson made what appear to be his first comments on the DFS industry. They came in the context of his desire to build an NFL stadium in Las Vegas, should the Oakland Raiders relocate to Nevada.
Here is what he said:
"I’ve met with Jerry Jones and I’ve talked to Bobby [Kraft]. Bob is the chairman of the committee for relocation in the NFL. He’s in favor of it. It’s an old wives’ tales that they [the NFL] say gambling is no good. I’ve read that 28 of the 32 teams have interest in fantasy sports. Well, that’s gambling. So 28 teams are involved in gambling"
Interestingly, both Jones and Kraft — the owners of the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots, respectively — are invested in DFS operator DraftKings via investment arms.
A casino executive saying DFS is gambling is nothing new; most of the land-based gambling industry seems to in lockstep on that.
Most of those gambling interests, however, also want legal clarity on DFS so that they can eventually be involved in the industry.
The dissonance regarding DFS comes from Adelson, who spearheads the federal legislative effort to ban online gambling. That effort — the Restoration of America’s Wire Act — of course, hasn’t picked up much steam other than a handful of hearings held over the years.
Still, that endeavor has featured a carveout for fantasy sports, which would tacitly allow it to continue, at least in terms of federal law.
It’s not clear if Adelson’s stance means if RAWA efforts will now target DFS moving forward, or if the cognitive dissonance between the legislation and his comments will remain.