Trump Wins! But Does USA Online Gambling Win Too?
Donald Trump recently completed one of the most-shocking wins in political history, when he defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election. If we're to believe Trump's ambitious plans for the White House, this means that a wall will go up between the United States and Mexico, Obamacare will be completely repealed, and the US will back out of NAFTA (if not renegotiated). One topic that Trump didn't discuss much during his campaign is what he'll do with online gaming. But there are some hints as to what'll happen, which we'll discuss below.
Trump Won't Regulate Online Gambling on a Federal LevelWhen Barack Obama was running for his first term in 2008, popular perception was that he might legalize online gaming because he enjoys playing poker. But nearly 8 years have gone by, and Obama has stepped aside and let states decide the matter. The same perception is being made of Trump because a large part of his fortune was derived through casinos. He even mentioned being in support of legal online gambling five years ago. Of course, when looking at some of the things that Trump has promised during his campaign, it's hard to know what he'll follow through with in the White House. Given that the 70-year-old billionaire already has enough big items on his agenda, don't expect him to suddenly add one more by fighting for regulated online gaming.
The Trump and Sheldon Adelson ConnectionIf anything, Trump would consider banning online gaming on a federal level, thus repealing the regulated markets in Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey. The reason why is because he has an obvious connection to Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas Sands Chairman who's fighting for an iGaming ban. Adelson, through the help of Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, has pushed the Restoration of America’s Wire Act for the past year. This piece of legislation hasn't gotten a serious look yet, but if it ever finds its way onto Trump's desk, there's a chance that he'll sign it. After all, Trump received $25 million from Adelson for his presidential campaign.
States Will Continue DecidingCurrently, legal USA gambling is being decided on a state-by-state basis. Aside from Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey, at least another dozen states are seriously considering legal iGaming. Odds are that within the next two years, another handful of states will legalize online gaming. The only threat to this is the Restoration of America's Wire Act (RAWA). But given the amount of research and time that individual states have put into iGaming, they'll fight this unconstitutional piece of legislation to the end.
Offshore Online Casinos Will Continue ThrivingWhile unregulated online casinos, poker, and sports betting sites stay out of regulated markets, they have the rest of the US to attract customers. As long as Trump doesn't take any action and the states continue their slow regulation decisions, offshore online casinos will continue finding success. And even if RAWA were legalized, it would serve as little deterrent for offshore gambling sites.
Online Political Betting Is Alive and WellOn a side note, it appears that political betting has never been more popular. The underdog Trump attracted a lot of betting action in the days leading up to the polls. And some people won big, including British businessman John Mappin, who earned £100,000 ($124,000) by wagering on Trump. To summarize the future of iGaming under Trump, expect offshore casinos to continue serving Americans, Adelson to keep (fruitlessly) pushing RAWA, and states to slowly ponder online gambling legalization.
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