Amid independent reports from the key G2E Expo in Las Vegas this week that momentum appears to be building for the legalisation of US online gambling, the Las Vegas Sun newspaper carried an interesting interview over the weekend.
The owner of the Klondike Sunset, a Western-themed land casino at the southern end of the Strip, appears to be unequivocally against legalisation, and not just for competitive reasons – he is concerned that the currently small percentage of problem gamblers could grow if gambling becomes instantly available in homes 24/7.
John Woodrum (72) has been in the business since 1961, and told the newspaper that internet gambling was a different proposition entirely to players travelling to a land casino to have a flutter. “Allowing it for people every minute of every day and you’ve got a whole different animal on your hands,” he claims.
Nevertheless, the respected newspaper notes that the acceptance of online gambling in America is felt to be inevitable by many land casino operators, although it is not expected to occur for at least two years.
Woodrum appears to be among them, telling the Las Vegas Sun that he expects legal US internet casinos will become widely promoted…with the consequent danger of more punters losing more money, and he observes: “The big companies think if people gamble on a computer, they’ll want to go to (Las Vegas). Maybe they’re right. On the other hand, if you lose on the Internet you might have less money to spend at the other place.”