President Trump and Online Gambling in US
Online gambling may not be the first thing an average citizen of the US might think about as an essential matter for a new president to deal with, but the online gambling community can’t help but wonder what is the future of the ‘Great America’ promised by Trump and what is the fate of online gambling in this ever so great union of American states?
Blast from the Past
President-elect Donald Trump had his fair share of casino action in the past. Known for putting up a Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, among others, he successfully ran the place for 24 years. A triumphant businessman as he was Trump saw the potential of the casino industry and put his name on several land-based casino venues. However, these facts are the source of a slightly misguided popular opinion that Trump might do something to motivate a nationwide legalization of online gambling, as he personally loves gambling.
Love has nothing to do with it. The man simply saw the opportunity to collect revenue from brick and mortar casinos and online casinos alike. The fact remains; he did state in an interview for Forbes that the US is ‘missing out on what many other states are doing’, sharing his opinion on online poker legalization which was interpreted as support. Maybe it was just that, even though his point was blunt and purely related to potential profit, and the interview is five years old now. Who could say his views haven’t changed over the years?
Trump is President, Now What?
At the moment, only three of the US states allow online gambling to operate under legal conditions, these being Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada. Federal Government has left it all in local hands, and all three mentioned states have marked a rise in their monthly revenue since going pro online gambling. Now, will Trump have his say on making it reach federal level is still at speculation level. Here are the key points of discussion:
- Trump’s association with Sheldon Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp.
- Trump’s fellow republicans Senator Mitch McConnell and Representative Jason Chaffetz openly against online gambling.
- New Jersey governor Chris Christie rumored to become head of Trump’s transition team.
The public is familiar with Sheldon Adelson’s more than generous financial support to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. On the other hand, Las Vegas billionaire hosted multiple highly attended public events to end online gambling on a federal scale. How do these two facts interact? It would be a text book politics example if Adelson were to influence the new president based on what he has done to help him get to the White House in the first place to take up on his attitude towards the matter. Time will tell if these assumptions stand on firm ground.
Mitch McConnell and Jason Chaffetz
Another factor, possibly of substantial importance when it comes to assuming Trump would gladly allow online gambling, are problems with Senator Mitch McConnell and Representative Jason Chaffetz. The two high state position holders are all in for restoring a Federal Wire Act which is supposed to ban online gambling altogether in the United States. These are individuals who are working closely with president-elect Donald Trump, and their judgment shouldn’t be ignored on this matter.
The wild ‘pros and cons’ roller-coaster leads us to another name-dropping. New Jersey governor Chris Christie has been rumored to possibly join Trump’s staff, either as Chief of Staff, Vice President or Attorney General. Christie authorized online gambling in New Jersey. By signing the legislation he proved to be one of the few governors who won’t hesitate to exploit his government-given right for the sake of his state’s economy. It is still unclear what impact Christie’s might have on a federal level and will he be able to change the tone towards USA online casinos and gambling sites.
Trump being primarily a businessman may come in handy when the subject of online casinos regulation reaches his presidential desk, if it ever does in the near future. Tax money became the benefit of offshore companies instead of in-house American casinos when the across-the-state online gambling ban became operative, and Trump is most certainly aware of that now just as he was a few years back. If and when will Trump make internet gambling great again, time will tell.
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