What is Trump’s take on Gambling?

October 2, 2017 by Ryan Knuppel

Donald TrumpThe online casino industry, the online poker universe and the online sports betting world hangs in limbo as they eagerly await President Trump’s views and stance when it comes to online gambling and how he will shape the future of online gambling.

When it comes to speculation as to what Trump could do about online poker and sports betting, there are people on both sides of the fence.

Some are staunch believers that the Trump presidency is good news for online poker, sports betting and online gambling as a whole, while other disagree and are of the opinion that the Trump presidency is not good news for the advancement of online gambling in the US.

The premise on which people who believe that Trump will do good things for online gambling in America is very simple – Trump used to own casinos himself, ergo he must like gambling and the whole nine yards, ergo he will legalize online poker, sports betting and probably online gambling in all its forms and maybe even go one step further and pass legislation which will actually boost online gambling and the revenue that it generates.

On the other hand, there are those who are a little more cynical about the above-mentioned narrative. Technically, the only time Trump explicitly acknowledged online gambling and showed the slightest support and backing towards it was almost half a decade ago. Furthermore, if there is one thing that we know about the promises Trump made and the things that he said during his campaign, it is that he said one thing and did something else once he became president and the time to make decisions came by. Therefore, just because Trump owned casinos in the past or said that he was all for online casinos and gambling pretty much has zero bearing on what he actually believes or does now.

Furthermore, even if Trump himself does not turn the tables around, and even if does actually want to legalize online gambling throughout the nation on a Federal level – there are still challenges which are more or less unconquerable. For instance, there are Republicans that occupy powerful positions who have openly expressed their distaste towards online gambling, for instance – Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Jason Chaffetz. In fact, these two Republicans want the exact opposite of what gambling enthusiasts are hoping for – they want to impose and enforce a strict ban on online gambling across the nation courtesy of a piece of legislation that they call the Restoration of America’s Wire Act.

Having discussed the two contrasting viewpoints, we can now address the issues of sports betting and online poker separately and what the Trump presidency could mean for the future of these respective industries.

Online Poker Players – Reason to feel hopeful now that Trump is president?

Online PokerIf you look to the president’s inauguration speech for some insight onto his outlook and attitude towards the online poker industry, you are going to be looking in vain. His speech was void of any reference whatsoever towards not just online poker, but gambling as a whole. However, if there is one thing that online poker enthusiasts across the nation can be hopeful about, it is because Trump has in the past expressed support for online gambling and online poker.

In 2011 in an Interview he did with Forbes magazine he is quoted as saying

[Online gambling] has to happen because many other countries are doing it and, like usual, the US is just missing out.

However, apart from this strong statement, apart from this rather strong statement and the fact that he himself owned casino’s and poker rooms in the past, there isn’t much else to suggest that he would be in favor of the legalization of online poker. His right hand man, Vice President Mike Pence, has left no doubts as to where he stands with regards to the legalization of online poker and online gambling, he is strongly against it and has said that he personally has never purchased as much as a lottery ticket.

That leaves things uncertain. We can speculate all we want, but Trump is unpredictable. The whole industry is in the dark right now as we ponder his first move which will affect online poker.

However, we can leave online poker enthusiasts with a little positive to take away –Trump said the following during his inauguration speech, and you don’t really need to read between the lines to be able to apply this rhetoric in the context of online poker –

We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon. One by one, the factories have left our shores,” said Trump. “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first!

Sports Betting in the US – What the Trump presidency could mean for the future

Sports bettingPresident Trump was actually quizzed about his stance on legalizing sports betting prior to the Super Bowl 51, but unfortunately, he remained rather diplomatic about his answer – all he said was that they would consider the matter and that they would not take it lightly.

There really isn’t much to make from those statements, and the debate is still wide open. He said that he will consider inputs from a lot of different people before coming to a decision with regards to sports betting – which is more than he ever said for online poker or online gambling in general.

Major sporting leagues in the US such as the NBA, the Major League Baseball and the National Football League are all unquestionably in favor of legalization.

However, nationwide federal legalization seems unlikely at this point and a lot of it really depends on which side of the fence President Donald Trump will fall.

Ryan Knuppel Author

Ryan (aka Knup) has been writing sports betting content for over a decade now. He covers anything and everything related to United Stats sports including football, basketball, baseball, golf and more. He has finished first place in several gambling related contests over the years which gives him instant credibility in the betting world. Ryan is a die-hard St. Louis...

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