M Resort President Opposes Online Poker



Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson isn’t the only Las Vegas casino executive opposed to legalizing online poker. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Friday that M Resort President Anthony Marnell III said he wholly agrees with Adelson’s stance against online poker and that "we’re pushing this way too far."

Marnell made the comments during a recent interview with Nevada Newsmakers, a statewide public affairs television program. Like Adelson, Marnell says he fears that operators won’t be able to prevent underage minors from gambling.

"I just can’t see a scenario where you can truly secure that from young children," Marnell said. "Once it becomes legalized, it’s taking it too far. I think you start to create addictive behaviors in the home that we can’t see as operators. We have problem gambling initiatives on the casino floor."

Marnell said his views didn’t reflect those of his employer, Penn National Gaming, which acquired M Resort last June. Marnell’s opinion differs greatly from the majority of the casino industry, which has welcomed a regulated online poker platform. Companies like MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment have already joined forces with various online poker operators such as bwin.party and 888 to position themselves for a share of the market.

Marnell also reinforced Adelson’s concerns that online poker would lead to other gambling activities being made available to homes across the country.

"That’s just my take on it," Marnell said. "I know I’m not in the favor of the gaming industry perspective. I just think enough is enough. We don’t need to push this farther into the home. It starts off as a bingo room then it becomes a full blown Las Vegas casino. All it takes is time, money, and legislation. My opinion is online poker won’t be the end of this. It will just be the beginning."

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*Photo courtesy of Five Star Alliance.

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