I am calling for a five-day boycott of the Venetian Poker Room for the period Monday, July 22nd through Friday, July 26th. If you support the legalization of online poker inside the United States, I urge you to join with us and DO NOT PLAY at the Venetian during this time.
This doesn’t mean “don’t play poker.” It just means, if you decide to play poker this upcoming week, then play somewhere else instead.
Many within the poker community — including players and members of the media — support this initiative. Other are opposed. Many are hopelessly indifferent.
Two days ago, I issued a simple declaration to Sands Corporation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheldon Adelson.
The deal was (and remains) that the boycott scheduled for next week (July 22-26) will be called off provided that Mr. Adelson acknowledges poker as a “game of skill.”
Nearly one month has elapsed since the boycott was first announced. Two days have passed since my offer to cancel the boycott based on very simple and reasonable terms. So far, the Adelson camp remains totally silent.
This leaves five more days until the start of the poker player boycott of the Venetian. I urge all poker players who really care about our game and want fight for our rights to help spread the word and pledge not to play in the Venetian poker room for that five-day period.
Poker players will be boycotting your poker room at the Venetian Resort Casino Hotel in Las Vegas during the dates of July 22-26. The start of the boycott is just one week away.
The passion behind this boycott was ignited in response to your repeated writings and public statements in opposition to the legalization of online poker in the United States. Your position on this matter is something I would describe as clear and unmistakeable.
I wholeheartedly support your right as a free citizen to speak out on matters you think are important, just as I and millions of other poker players also enjoy those same rights. However, during the course of your very public campaign in opposition to legalized online poker you made one statement which is demonstrably false, demanding an immediate retraction.
On June 20th, you appeared on Bloomberg TV and stated as follows:
“That skill base is, in my opinion, just a bunch of baloney. To get a card is not skill base. I know people say it is skill based, but it’s just so they can categorize it in a certain segment.”
Mr. Adelson, your statement is preposterous. To suggest poker is not a game of skill is — in your words — baloney. Your comments are not only incontrovertibly false, they are insulting to millions of poker players who enjoy the game, devote themselves to the spirit of competition, and work hard to improve themselves.
Accordingly, I am now prepared to offer you a solution to this standoff. Here are the conditions by which my call for a boycott of the Venetian Poker Room boycott will be called off:
1. You will make or issue a public statement which comes from you and includes the following affirmation: “Poker is a game of skill.“
That’s it. Nothing else.
There are no other conditions. All you must do is state publicly is that poker is a skill game. Once you do this, I will immediately call off the boycott of the Venetian Poker Room between July 22-26.
Instead, should ignore us and take no action, we poker players will continue to make certain you know we are here, that we are not going away, and that we will not forget your blatant mis-characterization of poker and the millions those who play it.
The campaign to send a message to Sheldon Adelson continues to gain steam.
The upcoming five-day boycott of the Venetian Poker Room is less than two weeks away. The boycott is in effect for July 22-26. This bold initiative has attracted lots of positive reaction and additional publicity.
The boycott has been written about at several popular poker and gambling websites. We’ve received positive coverage in the Las Vegas Sun newspaper. Even The Hill, which covers Washington politics and the Capital Hill scene, has referenced the boycott with a direct ink. Since my announcement, I’ve been asked to do about a dozen interviews which were met with unanimous support and encouragement. In fact, many poker players want to do even more. Some fellow activists hope to take this movement one step further and boycott the Venetian year around.
For those with lingering questions about why this boycott is being called for, I have completed some “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) which I hope will explain what we are doing, what I hope others will do to help, and what we expect to ultimately accomplish.