Internet gambling divides casino industry

A new advertising campaign highlighting the dangers of legalized internet gambling that is being supported by one of the biggest casino moguls in Las Vegas underlines the deep divisions that exist in the industry when it comes to online betting.

CEO of Las Vegas Sands backs ad campaign warning of dangers of online gambling but others look to cash in

The casino industry is divided on whether to support or try to block legalized gambling online, a sector that Morgan Stanley estimates will generate more revenue by 2020 than the gambling markets of Las Vegas and Atlantic City combined. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun/Associated Press)

Many experts believe online wagering is the future of gambling, but the casino industry is increasingly divided on the issue.

The latest evidence of the split comes Monday as the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling launches the first commercial in a six-figure campaign warning of the dangers of legalized Internet gambling.

The group is supported by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands.

Sheldon Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which operates numerous casinos and resorts, is one of the casino moguls who has come out against internet gambling and is supporting an ad campaign against it that launched this week. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Meanwhile, the casino lobby has made the legalization of online gambling its signature issue for the year. Major members, including Caesars Entertainment Corp., are taking steps to get into the market.

Morgan Stanley predicts that by 2020, online gambling in the U.S. will produce the same amount of revenue as Las Vegas and Atlantic City markets combined: $9.3 billion US.