James Guill

Sheldon Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling has begun to focus efforts on attempting to block online poker legalization in California. Earlier today, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown released on open letter opposing online poker and online gambling in general and announcing himself as the California Chair and National Co-Chair of the Coalition.

Brown starts the letter detailing reasons to oppose the expansion of internet gambling. He points out that internet gambling estimates are not being met in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware and that it leaves “cash-starved states scrambling to fill in gaping holes in their budgets.”

Next, he points out that the FBI has expressed concerns over whether or not technology exists to prevent money laundering and other activities that could be used by terrorists groups.

Brown claims that at one point he actually supported online poker in California, but has recently changed his mind after being shown evidence of what he called “repulsive tactics used to target our children.”

Further explaining this stance, he talks about how “cartoonish characters and comic book heroes” are used as marketing schemes for kids. The letter also includes marketing material from several companies for games such as “Santa’s Surprise, Cash Puppy, Monopoly, Kitty Glitter, Cats, Panda Manga, Super Doggie and more. He also included a screen shot of Caesars Casino on Facebook that includes images of Poseidon and the Pink Panther.

According to Brown, “If these companies get their way, parents in California and around the country will have to worry about their kids gambling away tuition money or running up credit card debt playing online poker.”

The addition of Brown to the Coalition is actually quite the coup considering his past popularity in the state. While “protecting the children” is not a new tactic for the coalition, Brown’s approach does at least force some to raise eyebrows concerning some of the marketing tactics used by casinos. A figure with his past will help to give a degree of credibility to the Coalition’s message that it may have lacked prior.

Brown’s open letter comes just over a month after the coalition released a commercial online focusing on the dangers of kids gambling online. Check it out below:

Photo courtesy of Sfsu.edu.