Democratic Vice-Presidential Candidate Tim Kaine is No Friend to Gambling

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Four of the last nine Presidents of the United States were Vice-Presidents of the United States first, so it goes without saying that any V.P. has a good chance to be elevated to the top job.

So with Hillary Clinton looking more and more each day like she'll be the next President--at least according to the polls--that means her running mate, Tim Kaine, will likely be the next Veep.

And therefore someday maybe President too.

As part of a continuing series on the 2016 candidates and their views on gambling issues, Gambling 911 examined Kaine's past record as Governor of Virginia and then U.S. Senator and discovered that he's no friend of the gambling industry.

Specifically, he did nothing to roll back gambling, but did all he could to make sure gambling wasn't expanded.

Kaine, 58, was born in Minnesota and raised in Kansas.

He moved to Virginia after attending the University of Missouri and then Harvard Law School, and soon was elected to the Richmond City Council.

He then proceeded to be elected Mayor of Richmond, then Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, Governor of Virginia and finally U.S. Senator from Virginia, the job he currently holds.

So what is the record?

Kaine, a Democrat, dealt with a key gambling issue while both a governor and a senator.

In 2007, when Kaine was Governor of Virginia, the neighboring state of Maryland legalized the placement of slot machines at five horse racing tracks.

Kaine was under immediate pressure to do likewise for his state, or risk having Virginia gamblers crossing the border to Maryland to play slots, thus depriving the State of Virginia of lucrative gambling revenues.

Kaine refused to buckle to the powerful pro-gambling interests in his state, and refused to legalize slot machines in Virginia.

The November 21, 2007 edition of the Washington Times reported: "Virginia Governor Tim Kaine said it is 'extremely unlikely' that the state will follow Maryland's attempt to legalize slot-machine gambling to generate revenue...The governor made his comments before the Maryland General Assembly agreed early yesterday morning to Governor Martin O'Malley's plan to put 15,000 slot machines in five locations. The proposal by Mr. O'Malley, also a Democrat, was in part an attempt to help save the state's struggling horse-racing industry by fattening purses and keeping Marylanders from spending their gambling money in neighboring Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia...Similar plans have failed in Virginia, which faces a projected shortfall of $641 million by next summer as a result of a slowing economy and forecasting errors in the governor's projected budget."

Virginia remains one of the few states in the U.S. that doesn't have casinos.

In 2014, the Pamunkey tribe, an Indian tribe in Virginia that consists of just 203 members, was seeking Federal recognition as a legitimate and legally-recognized Indian tribe.

If recognized, the tribe would become the 204th Indian tribe in America to receive such status, and would then would have the legal right to engage in various lucrative money-making opportunities on its reservation, such as selling untaxed cigarettes and operating a casino.

Kaine, as a U.S. senator, would have a vote on the issue--a straight yea or nay vote on whether to grant the tribe official status.

Kaine agreed to vote to grant the tribe status, but only if the tribe promised that it would not open a casino.

The tribe agreed to the casino ban, Kaine voted for status, many other senators did too and the tribe eventually was recognized.

In celebrating the recognition, Kaine sent out a press release declaring:  "We are thrilled that Federal recognition of the Pamunkey tribe is finally official. With this long-overdue designation, the Pamunkey is the first Virginia tribe to be recognized and receive access to critical Federal benefits."

So far, the tribe has kept its word and not opened a casino.

By Tom Somach

Gambling 911 Staff Writer

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