What are Mike Pence’s Views on Gambling? Gambling911 Investigates: And It’s Not Pretty

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Everyone knows Republican Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump has a long history of being pro-gambling.

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He was, after all, a major casino operator in Atlantic City for many years.

But what about his newly-selected Vice-Presidential running mate, Indiana governor Mike Pence?

Where does he stand on the issue of gambling?

As part of its ongoing series on the 2016 Presidential--and now Vice-Presidential--candidates and their views on gambling, Gambling 911 has thoroughly and exhaustingly examined Pence's record on the issue, including not only his time as governor of Indiana, but also his stint before that as a U.S. congressman.

The verdict?

The highly conservative Pence is about as anti-gambling as a politician can get, including opposing expansion of casino gambling in his state while governor and, before that, opposing legalizing online gambling while a congressman.

Let's look at the record:

After two unsuccessful runs for U.S. Congress, in 1988 and 1990, Pence was finally elected as an Indiana congressman in 2000, and then repeatedly re-elected.

He ran for governor of Indiana in 2012 and won, officially taking office in 2013.

Then, a week ago, he was named by Trump as the Vice-Presidential candidate on the Republican ticket.

During his 15-year political career, Pence, 57, has opposed gambling at every turn.

According to VoteSmart.org, a non-partisan website that tracks the votes of politicians on various issues, Pence while a congressman consistently voted against pro-gambling-related bills and for anti-gambling-related bills.

(Go to HERE to see his record.)

In 2003, Pence voted for the Unlawful Internet Gambling Funding Prohibition Act, which made it illegal for financial institutions to process online gambling transactions.

Among other things, the Act banned the use of credit cards, checks and electronic fund transfers (EFTs) to fund Internet gambling.

The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 319-104.

In 2006, Pence voted for the Internet Gambling Bill, which placed further restrictions on online gambling and imposed a five-year prison sentence on anyone who violated those restrictions.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 316-93.

Also in 2006, Pence voted for the Restricting Indian Gaming to Homelands of Tribes Act, which put restrictions on native American-run casinos.

The bill failed to pass in the House by a vote of 247-171.

Also in 2006, Pense voted for the now-infamous UIGEA--the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which placed even further restrictions on online gambling.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 317-93.

As governor of Indiana, Pence wasn't any more gambling-friendly.

In 2014, he did an interview with a local business and industry publication called the the Indiana Business Journal and declared that he opposed expansion of gambling in the Hoosier State, which has casinos, horse racing and a state lottery.

"I've made it very clear from the beginning that gaming is a reality in the State of Indiana," Pence said. "It's never been the intention of my administration to promote policies that either expand or contract gaming in our state. But I'm going to make it very clear to legislators that our administration will not support any expansion of gaming in the State of Indiana."

Also in 2014, he confirmed his committment to opposing online gambling.

In a letter he wrote to Indiana congressional members, he urged them to support the

Restoration of America's Wire Act, a bill before the U.S. Congress that banned Internet gambling.

In 2015, Pence whacked Internet gambling again.

After the Indiana state legislature passed a bill that would have allowed state residents to wager online on horse racing, Pence vetoed the bill.

“This legislation is contrary to my long-time position against online gaming,” Pence stated at the time. “Advance deposit wagering, not currently permitted in Indiana, would also violate my position on expanding gaming here in Indiana.”

If there's any silver lining in the dark cloud that is Pence's mindset on gambling, it's that he is not opposed to daily fantasy sports--but that's because he doesn't consider DFS gambling.

After the Indiana state legislature this year passed a bill declaring DFS a skill-based activity, not a luck-based one, and therefore not gambling, and that DFS would be legal and regulated, Pence signed the bill into law.

By Tom Somach

Gambling 911 Staff Writer


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