Categories: IndustryPoker

Adam Laxalt, Online Poker Opponent, Loses Bid for Nevada Governor

It wasn’t exactly up there on his platform – in fact, I doubt he even mentioned it – but Nevada Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt wants to see online poker vanish from the United States. Yes, he ran for Governor of Nevada wanting to end a form of gambling. Makes perfect sense. Fortunately, he lost to Democrat Steve Sisolak, 49.4 percent to 45.3 percent.

We don’t know if Laxalt truly, deep in his heart, hates online poker, but we do know that he has been strongly influenced by Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO Sheldon Adelson. Adelson has made it his mission to have poker banned throughout the United States and as such had his legal team create the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) and, in turn, formed the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG). In 2015 and 2016, Laxalt and other state Attorneys General signed a letter in support of RAWA. Laxalt’s sister, Tessa Laxalt, works for j3 Strategies, a lobbying firm that helped Adelson setup CSIG. The company has also worked directly with the Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Based on the results of all of Nevada’s elections this year, it clearly looks like the state is quickly turning blue, so Laxalt may have been doomed from the start, but it did not help at all that members of his own family did not want him to win. Two of his cousins organized a fundraiser for Steve Sisolak and twelve of his relatives wrote an op-ed in October for the Reno Gazette Journal just shredding him.

They called him a total fake:

. . . for those of us who were actually raised in Nevada, it’s difficult to hear him continue to falsely claim that he was raised in Nevada or has any true connections to Nevadans. The simple fact is that while he may have been born in Reno, he left as an infant and was raised on the East Coast, 3,000 miles away, in Washington, D.C., and moved here only in 2013, only one year later launching his political career. Aside from the occasional short visit, Adam never knew the state or its people. Perhaps if he had, he would stand for Nevada’s values rather than for those of his out-of-state donors.

They also said he wasn’t even qualified for the position, explaining that his law career as been described as a “trainwreck” and that he has used his Attorney General position as a “four-year publicity tour for his current campaign for governor.”

In his concession speech, Adam Laxalt said, “This was all of our campaign, not just my campaign. We can certainly take heart that we left it all on the field. We fought as hard as we could. To come up short is always difficult.”

Nevada political journalist Jon Ralston implied via tweet on Friday that Laxalt’s apparent graciousness wasn’t necessarily that genuine, linking to an editorial in the Las Vegas Review Journal that was basically a scare piece for the Conservative base. Adelson owns the Review-Journal and Ralston said that Laxalt wrote the article, though we are not sure if Ralston was joking or not.

Dan Katz

Dan Katz, one of our poker experts here at, is a man with many interests. While he spends the majority of his down time hanging out with his family, he is also a self-proclaimed world-class fisherman who owns several sea vessels. Dan once caught a 70-pound marlin while fishing in the Atlantic Ocean. Although he hooks sea creatures on the daily, Dan is a big teddy bear and aims to protect nature at all costs; letting all his catches go at the end of the day.

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