Sheldon Adelson And Upcoming Online Gambling Hearing Signal Changes In PA

Written By Jessica Welman on March 6, 2017 - Last Updated on October 17, 2022
PA hearing legal online gambling

[toc]The news headlines are coming and going at a rapid-fire rate in the Keystone State as Pennsylvania inches closer to possibly regulating online poker and casino.

There is more news on the legislative front, most notably an upcoming hearing on Tuesday.

While lawmakers deliberate, the business side of the casino industry in Pennsylvania is drawing plenty of attention as well. Most of the headlines involve Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Keep reading to find out why:

Now is the time to act if you support PA online gambling

As the following headlines will you show, online gaming has a serious chance of expanding to more states in 2017.

The fight in New York is picking up steam and Pennsylvania seems to be on the verge of regulating online gaming.

Pundit Steve Ruddock argues now could be at a real tipping point for poker fans not just in these two battleground states, but across the nation.

If you support regulation in Pennsylvania and want to make your voices heard, you can do so in a matter of minutes by taking an action.

Gaming hearing scheduled for March 7

When lawmakers in Pennsylvania said online gaming expansion was going to a be a “frontburner” issue at the start of the year, they were not messing around.

Bills have been proposed in both the Senate and the House and now state legislators are holding a joint hearing of House and Senate committees to discuss the pros and cons of the proposed iGaming legislation.

The hearing is set to take place on Tuesday, March 7 at 2 p.m.

It will include  members of both the Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee and the House Gaming Oversight Committee.

Rep. Jay Costa’s online gambling bill is huge in scope and includes online poker, online casino, daily fantasy sports (DFS), and a revised tax revenue scheme for casinos in the state.

iGaming could be a billion-dollar industry for PA

One piece of evidence which could crop up at the forthcoming hearing is a white paper produced by PlayPennsylvania breaking down the revenue possibilities for the state should it legislate online gambling.

According to our projections, over the years it could grow to be as much as a billion-dollar industry.

For a state mired in budget woes, the fiscal boost online poker and casino games could offer is certainly one of the major issues to consider in terms of legislation.

Security guards at Sands Bethlehem unionize

In all his years running casinos, Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson has never had a group of employees successfully unionize under his tenure. Until now.

Security guards at the Sands Bethlehem Casino in Pennsylvania won a years-long battle to unionize.

The 146-person union will result in small pay increases, changes in seniority structure, and guards having more input on workplace policies.

The guards said the biggest issue for them was the last one. They felt they were compensated fairly, but wanted a more active role in determining how the workplace is run.

Adelson has successfully kept unions out of his casinos by offering highly competitive wages and benefits in addition to waging lengthy legal battles against any groups trying to organize.

Sands Bethlehem on the market

With Adelson being notoriously anti-online gambling and anti-union, it is unsurprising to hear the Sands’ lone property in Pennsylvania is allegedly for sale.

Rumors surfaced a few days ago that Sands Bethlehem was on the market and the leading candidate to buy it appears to be MGM Resorts International.

Reasons Adelson may want to sell Sands Bethlehem

It would make sense for Adelson to sell on a couple of fronts.

First, he can take advantage of the increasing likelihood online gambling goes live in Pennsylvania and sell to a company like MGM, which lacks a brick and mortar presence in the state.

Second, he can remove the company from the recently-formed union before other labor groups within Sands try to challenge and organize.

There has been no official statement on the sale just yet, but multiple outlets are reporting on the rumor.

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Jessica Welman

Jessica Welman has been a key voice in the legal betting industry since the repeal of PASPA in 2018. She contributed to and formerly managed several Catena Play-branded sites including PlayPennsylvania, PlayTenn and PlayIndiana. A longtime poker media presence, Jess has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for

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