Will President Trump Help the Gambling Industry?

Once a gambling mogul in Atlantic City, Donald Trump is the first U.S. president to have owned a casino. That said, many in the gaming world are wondering if Trump will help the industry.

Specifically, online gambling, sports betting, and daily fantasy sports are at crossroads right now. And the American Gaming Association (AGA) has asked Trump to approve sports betting, have fewer regulations, and crack down on offshore gambling.

“President Trump, his administration and Congress will unquestionably implement policies that will directly impact our industry for years to come,” said AGA vice-president Whitaker Askew.

Kirk Blalock, a lobbyist who worked for George W. Bush, said that Trump “comes to the table with a good, solid understanding of how the industry works and what the challenges are.”

Whether this brings positive results to the gaming world remains to be seen. But the hope is that Trump does more for online gaming than President Obama, who stayed away from the issue.

New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware are the only states that currently offer regulated internet gaming.

According to ABC Delaware, Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, looked into the New Jersey online gaming market before deciding not to obtain a license.

This would make it appear that Trump is somewhat receptive of internet gambling. But he hasn’t declared his allegiance one way or the other.

“I have a lot of friends on both sides of this issue,” said Trump.

One of these friends is billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who’s spending a fortune on making internet gaming illegal. Given that he donated money to Trump’s campaign, it’s anybody’s guess how the latter will lean.

Sports betting is allowed in Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon as part of a grandfather clause to a nationwide ban. New Jersey has made attempts to legalize sports betting, but they’ve been denied by federal judges so far.

Many other states are debating over whether or not daily fantasy sports should be allowed.

Through an Nov. 2015 interview with Fox Sports, Trump claimed that he wouldn’t oppose daily fantasy sports or sports betting.

“I’m OK with it because it’s happening anyway,” said the president.

Steve Norton, an Indiana casino consultant who previously worked with Trump, predicted he’ll never support federally regulating online gaming. But Trump also won’t stand in the way of states that want to legalize the activity.

“Sports betting, on the other hand is a multibillion-dollar industry, mostly illegal,” Norton explained. “I believe the positives of oversight, taxing and ensuring fair odds outweigh any negatives, and hopefully Mr. Trump will support individual states rights, and help overturn” a federal ban.

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