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Posted by on Jul 29, 2013 in Blog, General Poker, Las Vegas | 8 comments

Was the Ventetian Poker Boycott a Success?




I’d be remiss were I not to address a few questions and try to provide closure to the manifestation of frustration known at the Great Venetian Poker Boycott of 2013.

In case you missed it — and based on the number of poker games going full steam at the Venetian all of last week, many of our dearest brethren seemed to have missed the hell out of it — the forces of good boycotted the darker forces of evil during a five-day period that between July 22-26, 2013.

The question we now must ask ourselves was — was the boycott a success?

I suppose this all depends on who you ask and how you look at things.  Much like a glass “half full” or “half empty” argument, there is no clear answer.  That said, I’ll try my best to provide a rear-view perspective on this issue and examine what worked versus what did not:


Question:  Was the boycott of the Venetian Poker Room a success?

Answer:  Yes and no.  The boycott clearly accomplished a few objectives.  First, we drew lots of media attention to Sheldon Adelson’s (mostly baseless) arguments against online poker’s legalization and the irrefutable lunacy of his contention that poker is not a game of skill.  Second, the boycott controversy kept the online poker issue very much in the news — not just within poker/gaming media but in the mainstream press, as well.  According to my most recent count, 47 websites ran at least one story related to the Venetian poker boycott.  Multiple articles also appeared in the Las Vegas press.  The story made two nightly television new broadcasts (including the ABC and CBS affiliates) and one radio segment (CBS).  I also appeared on four poker podcasts and did two web-based video interviews.  Moreover, I still have four more interviews pending.  Keep in mind that our primary objective was to draw attention online poker as not just a gaming story, but a business and economic issue, as well.  However, I won’t deny that the boycott was unsuccessful in some ways.  Clearly, not as many poker players neither supported the initiative nor actively participated as I would have liked (or expected).  In fact, the number of players who continued to play at the Venetian during boycott week was disheartening.  Sadly, I’m convinced this lack of unity and utter indifference to consumer activism hurts us deeply as a community and dissuades others from viewing us as a constituency to be taken seriously.  Failure to engage is one the primary reasons we now see ourselves in the position of not being able to play online poker in most states at the moment.

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