The Las Vegas Review-Journal is officially the latest Adelson family newspaper… So what are they going to do with it?
It was big US gambling news when casino mogul and multibillionaire Sheldon Adelson was identified as the mystery buyer of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. So it is not surprising that since the announcement, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has been closely watching both the transaction and the new Adelson family newspaper.
NGCB Chairman A.G. Burnett explained that due to Adelson’s prominence in the gambling world, gaming regulations give the Board the right to investigate the suspicious sale. Burnett added that Adelson did not do anything illegal in purchasing the Review-Journal—there is no law against casino owners purchasing news outlets—but the bizarre nature of the multimillion dollar sale warrants a closer look.
Adelson family newspaper purchased to influence gaming industry?
While it remains unclear what, exactly, Adelson plans to do with his new paper, there exists many theories, with the main one being influence. Through the paper, Adelson could easily push his Republican political agenda, his innocence in face of corruption allegations, and his adamant opposition to the legalization of online gambling sites in the US.
Adelson is trying to distance himself from these theories by telling media that he has no financial interest in the Review-Journal; that he will have the paper managed by its former owner, GateHouse Media; and that neither he nor his relatives will be involved of the selection of the new editor of the Adelson family newspaper.
Despite the Adelson family’s claims that they only had clean intentions in the transaction and that the Review-Journal will remain unbiased, there is something rotten in the state of Nevada. For proof, one needs to look no further than the abrupt step down of chief editor Mike Hengel, who left two weeks after news hit that the Review-Journal was now an Adelson family newspaper. Said Hengel: “I think my resignation probably comes as a relief to the new owners.”