Jason Ader, a Las Vegas Sands Corp. board member, has acquired a 6 percent stake in online gaming company bwin.party, making him the second-largest stakeholder in the company.
That has led to speculation whether Ader will find himself at odds with Sands owner and board chairman Sheldon Adelson, who is opposed to online gambling in the U.S.
Adelson is backing a major lobbying and public opinion push to ban online gambling. His campaign has resulted in bills introduced in Congress to strengthen federal laws to outlaw internet gambling and cease it wherever it’s now legal.
Ader, a Wall Street analyst, told the Las Vegas Review Journal that he spoke to Adelson about the bwin.party investment before acquiring about 51 million shares in the company.
“I gave him the heads-up,” Ader said. “He always agrees to disagree, and that’s why he likes having independent voices on his board. I never would have made the investment without him knowing.”
Ader told the paper he made the investment in bwin.party because he thought the company was “undervalued and has been underperforming.”
In the U.S., bwin.party has agreements with MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming Corp. to operate online poker websites in Nevada. In New Jersey, bwin.party operates the online gaming platform for the Borgata, which is owned by Boyd Gaming.