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Howard Stutz
 

Political watchdog group wants Sheldon Adelson investigated

4 November 2015

A progressive political watchdog group wants Congress and the Federal Election Commission to investigate alleged ties between Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson and reputed Chinese organized crime figures.

A spokesman for Las Vegas Sands immediately dismissed the initiative by the Washington D.C.-based Campaign for Accountability as an "obvious political propaganda stunt" aimed at Adelson, who is a prolific financial contributor to Republican candidates and conservative causes.

The group asked the chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Federal Election Commission to investigate whether foreign money is illegally fueling campaign contributions to American politicians.

Anne Weismann, the Campaign for Accountability's executive director, said in a statement that "federal authorities have long been concerned about the reach of the tentacles of Chinese organized crime." The organization pieced together almost 500 pages of documents — including internal Las Vegas Sands documents — court filings and news reports, describing relationships between Las Vegas Sands and junket businesses operated by alleged organized crime members.

Much of the information submitted by the group surfaced long ago in the wrongful termination lawsuit filed against Las Vegas Sands by the former head of the company's Macau operations. The case is pending trial in Clark County District Court.

The group pointed out that Adelson contributed more than $100 million in the 2012 election cycle, and Weismann said the American people "deserve to know" how Adelson funds his political contributions.

Las Vegas Sands spokesman Ron Reese said the "unsubstantiated allegations are nothing new," and noted that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee made a similar effort to tie Adelson to Chinese mobsters in 2012 and was forced to issue a public apology.

"This stuff has been dragged out before and was repudiated by the DCCC," Reese said. "Once again, a political stunt is being used to try and discredit Mr. Adelson's name."

Las Vegas Sands is one of three Nevada-based casino companies operating in Macau and collects roughly 65% from its annual revenue from the Chinese gaming market. In addition to the Venetian Macau, Sands Macau and the Sands Cotai Central, the company is opening the $2.7 billion Parisian on the Cotai Strip next year.

Macau's gaming market, however, has seen 17 straight monthly gaming revenue declines, primarily because of the Chinese government's crackdown on corruption that ensnared operators of junket businesses tasked with bringing high-end gamblers to Macau casinos' private gambling salons.

According to Politico, Campaign for Accountability was started this year by Weismann and another former head of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a self-described progressive group founded as a counter-weight to conservative political organizations such as Judicial Watch.
Political watchdog group wants Sheldon Adelson investigated is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.