Anthony Marnell is the president of M. Resort, a luxury hotel and casino in Henderson Nevada. Marnell has announced that he opposes any form of regulation of the online poker industry in the United States.
Anthony Marnell said that he agrees with the points Las Vegas Sands chairman, Sheldon Adelson, raised last month. Marnell and Adelson both argue that lawmakers and gaming industry leaders are taking things too far as they push for the legalization of online poker.
Marnell told reporters that the opinions he issued were his own and do not necessarily reflect those of his company. However, executives of M. Resort’s holding company, Penn National Gaming, stated that they are also against the legalization of online poker. They made a formal announcement just six months after they purchased M. Resort.
After Marnell’s statement, a spokesperson for Penn National Gaming stated that the company’s position on the legalization of online poker hasn’t changed over the past year.
Marnell and Adelson have both stated that a major concern is ensuring underage children cannot play online poker. Marnell stated that it is virtually impossible to keep children from accessing the poker rooms and can’t see any possible solution that will prevent them from doing so.
“I just can’t see a scenario where you can truly secure that from young children. Once it becomes legalized, it’s taking it too far. I think you start to create addictive behaviors in the home that we can’t see as operators. We have problem gambling initiatives on the casino floor.”
Marnell recognizes the government’s position as it tries to control the deficit. However, he also feels that the government will need to identify other solutions before resorting to using online poker as a potential solution to its revenue problems. He argues that the government could probably fix the deficit by cutting spending and leveraging other revenue sources before pursuing the regulation of online poker.
However, many other players in the industry do not agree with Marnell and Adelson. Other industry experts are pushing for regulation and believe new technologies can be developed to safeguard against minors who attempt to access online gambling sites.