The leader of Faith & Freedom Coalition, Ralph Reed, has denied involvement with Sheldon Adelson’s anti-gambling body.
While some people and companies are campaigning to introduce legal online gambling under American gambling laws in more than the current three states, there are renowned opponents to the move as well. We all know that the casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson is doing all he can to stop the spread of online gambling which will definitely eat into his land-based casino profits.
Adelson has even created a special organization, Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG), which is now lobbying hard to close the existing online gambling outlets including online casinos in the United States, and prevent new ones from opening.
Las Vegas Sands (LVS) owner has already recruited several high-power figures to lobby against online gambling on his behalf. But a recent tweet from Ralph Reed created confusion in the media over his involvement.
Ralph Reed’s involvement with Adelson’s coalition
Ralph Reed has denied his involvement in Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling
•CSIG seeks to alter American gambling laws to prohibit online gambling
•Reed is the leader of Faith & Freedom Coalition
•His previous involvement with gambling industry was an unpleasant affair
American gambling news reported a tweet from the controversial leader of the Faith & Freedom Coalition (FFC) group. According to the tweet, neither Reed nor his FFC are in any way affiliated or working with Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.
The issue went viral following a report in newspapers that as many as eleven chapters of the Faith & Freedom Coalition have declared their ties with Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. Moreover, Dan Wilson, the spokesman for Adelson’s coalition has confirmed this fact.
He said in a statement: “These are state-based affiliates that don’t normally stand with casino interests, but found common cause in order to halt Internet gambling. As far as I’m aware none of the FFC chapters who are CSIG members received money from LVS or Adelson.” But Wilson made a note that Reed himself is not involved with the CSIG.
Even more confusion came after some of the Faith & Freedom Coalition allegedly involved with the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling refused to comment on the nature of their relationship. However, we have to mention that one particular chapter located in Florida, did reveal that it was not connected with the anti-gambling organization in any way.
Based on the above-mentioned facts, we can conclude that on a national level the Faith & Freedom Coalition is denying involvement with the CSIG, similar to what Ralph Reed is doing. Some individual chapters have unilaterally joined the anti-gambling movement (if their involvement is actually true). While others have been wrongly identified as connected to Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling by the media.
Ralph Reed and gambling
Experts agree that Ralph Reed is doing a wise thing, not getting involved in the gambling issue at all. His last known association with the gambling industry was with the renowned lobbyist Jack Abramoff, also known as “Casino Jack”, a relationship which didn’t end well.
This involvement has already been remembered in the media. One renowned publication, BuzzFeed, writes: “Taking sides between dueling gambling interests brings Reed back to his professional Donnybrook. The celebrated leader of a resurgence of organized evangelical politics in the 1990s, he became a political consultant who, from 1999 to 2002, participated in a series of lucrative deals that figured at the center of a damning Senate committee investigation on the efforts of Reed’s ally, lobbyist Jack Abramoff, to fleece his Native American clients.”
Sen. John McCain had been quoted talking about Jack Abramoff back at a hearing in 2004: “Every kind of charlatan and every type of crook has deceived and exploited America’s native sons and daughters. What sets this tale apart, what makes it truly extraordinary, is the extent and degree of the apparent exploitation and deceit.”
Of course Reed was never charged with any crime, and his legal councils have since written to BuzzFeed defending the controversial leader. They stated Reed has done nothing wrong and went as far as to threaten the publication with legal action.
However, BuzzFeed went on to say: “But the emails published in the Indian Affairs Committee investigation derailed Reed’s career and put him at the heart of Abramoff’s work with Mississippi Choctaw, Louisiana Coushatta, and Texas Tigua tribes.”
Casino news also cited the publication stating: “Reed’s name appears 180 times in the committee’s final 2006 report, as Abramoff’s key ally in rallying Christian groups on behalf of Native American casino interests. Abramoff and his allies funneled millions to Reed’s firm, but also worked to conceal its origins.”
BuzzFeed also managed to contact Abramoff himself and ask if he thinks that Ralph Reed’s participation in online gambling conflict between the Coalition for Consumer & Online Protection and the CSIG has any risk. Abramoff replied with “Not sure. It could go either way.”
It remains to be seen if the allegations of the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s involvement with the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling have any truth to them. And of course the battle for legal online gambling in the United States is far from being over.