Column: Ex-lawmaker switches sides in Internet poker debate

Willie Brown joins anti-Internet gaming crowd.

Former California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown once supported Internet poker but now he's working for billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who wants to outlaw online wagering:
Brown, who previously worked with the Morongo Indian casino interests, had worked in favor of similar Internet poker legislation.

Brown and the tribe, however, have parted ways. He has now signed up former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez to expose the ills of online gaming, which also hurt Adelson's Sands Casino corporation of Las Vegas.

"I was once on the wrong side of this issue," Brown wrote in an open letter to lawmakers, "but I have since learned about some of the tactics used by online gambling companies to lure young people."

Not surprisingly, Brown's concerns mirror the findings of a new statewide poll commissioned by Adelson's group that found more than 70 percent of the voters surveyed were worried about the increased risk of gambling by minors.

Get the Story:
Phillip Matier And Andrew Ross: Bet on it [See third item] (The San Francisco Chronicle 5/18)

Related Stories
Blog: California closer to Internet gaming with support of tribes (05/13)

Join the Conversation