I Have a Love-Hate Relationship with Venetian Poker Room Thanks to Sheldon Adelson


Sheldon Adelson has no respect for poker players but he has one heck of a poker room at Venetian. I’m often conflicted in my decision to play at or avoid this poker room for that very reason.

There’s no doubt the Venetian’s poker room is world class and one of the best in town. The chairs are comfortable. The staff is friendly. Dealers are great. The cash games are juicy. The daily tournaments are profitable. What’s not to love about this card room? The owner.

Adelson, a billionaire Republican mega donor and CEO of Sands Corporation, the company that owns the Venetian, has arguably disrespected the poker community more than anyone in history. He’s fought a pointless battle to ban online poker at the federal level. Fortunately, his Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) proposal, a piece of legislation that would make it illegal to gamble online anywhere in the US, has been shot down numerous times. But he’s still had a negative impact on the game of poker.

The fact of the matter is, due to his $38 billion net worth (Forbes), he still has influence over government policies. His constant attacks on online gambling has most definitely impacted the minds of politicians all over the country.

Online poker is mostly dead in most US states, and Adelson is part of that reason. For this reason, I don’t play often at Venetian even though I love the poker room. I just can’t bring myself to support a company headed by a man of Sheldon’s integrity, or lack thereof.

Once in a while I play there, two or three times a year, simply because it’s a great card room or if I have a friend in town who wants to play there. Otherwise, I avoid it so as to not give too much support to the poker-hating CEO.