Trump Presidency Not Good for US Online Poker Industry Site Claims

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  • President-Elect Donald Trump once supported legalized online gambling in US and ran casinos in Atlantic City
  • A handful of Republicans have tried to pass legislation that bans online gambling
  • GOP mega donor Sheldon Adelson financed previous online gambling prohibition measures and did donate to the Trump campaign after some initial resistance
  • Trump could view legalized online gambling in the US as a job booster by studying the industry’s impact in places like Malta and Costa Rica, not to mention Great Britain

There’s a very real chance that US President-Elect Donald Trump could affect the arc of online gambling in the U.S., and likely not in a good way, writes Dustin Gouker of The Online Poker Report.

Gouker writes:

The only thing we have from Trump on the record is from five years ago, in which he tacitly supported online gambling. For anyone who knows Trump and his presidential campaign, what he has said in the past sometimes has little bearing on what he believes or says now.

For the sake of argument, even if you do believe that Trump would like to see online gambling legalized at the federal level, there are problems. Namely, Republicans in a position of power — like Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Jason Chaffetz — have advanced the exact opposition position. That position? A ban on online gambling everywhere in the U.S. via federal legislation called the Restoration of America’s Wire Act.

In a bit of irony, both Chaffetz and another of the bill’s sponsors, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, were two of the most outspoken against a Trump Presidency, Graham in particular. 

Trump ally and transition chairman, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, supported legalized online gambling and sports betting in his state.  He ultimately signed legislature that makes the Garden State one of only three that make online poker and casino games legal. 

But GOP mega donor Sheldon Adelson has lobbied against the industry and he did donate to the Trump campaign, albeit late in the game. By late October, the casino billionaire had donated a mere $10 million to the Trump campaign, opting to spend most of his resources on Senate and House races.  While Adelson’s paper was one of only a handful that endorsed the candidacy of Trump very late in the game, few believed the Las Vegas Review Journal would go as far as to endorse Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Republicans now hold the majority in both the Senate and House.  Still, not all Republicans were on board with previous versions of the bill. 

Trump did win the Election by promising jobs to US citizens and, a look at the international online gambling industry shows that it employees thousands of people.  In fact, the sector has helped boost economies of nations such as Costa Rica and Malta.  At 5.9%, Malta has the sixth lowest unemployment rate in the EU and its online gambling sector contributes heavily to this.  The United Kingdom’s bookmaking business is extremely profitable as well, employing thousands.

Daily Fantasy Sports firms DraftKings and FanDuel alone not only employ a few hundred people in the US but also spent millions on advertising last year prior to New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s crackdown on both companies.  Schneiderman is the same man who launched an investigation into Trump University. 

Gouker surmizes:

The most likely — and most optimistic scenario — would be the status quo. That means online gambling can be legalized by the states as they desire, with no change at the federal level.

But within the range of outcomes is the possibility that online gambling is banned everywhere in the U.S.

- Ace King, Gambling911.com

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