Update: Gambling on the US Presidential Election
While the election is definitely off the rails, there are a number of big issues on the horizon that could impact operators and punters alike. These issues include the passage of a national online gambling bill; the status of daily fantasy sports; and, possibly, a decision by the Supreme Court on regulated sports betting.
These are huge issues that could be seriously impacted by the outcome of the election.
For example, if Donald Trump loses in a landslide, there’s a chance that the Democrats could retake control of the House and Senate. In that scenario, the chances of passing a national online gambling bill, one that makes life easier for operators who won’t have to navigate a patchwork of state-by-state regulations, goes up dramatically.
A Clinton presidency also has the potential to reshape the US Supreme Court. Over the next four years she could wind up appointing as many as three currently serving Justices are over the age of 75. Would Clinton appointees have a more liberal outlook towards sports betting? That’s a real possibility.
While Clinton has never shown much interesting gambling (she voted for UIGEA), she’s also not likely to support anything that Sheldon Adelson endorses like the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA).
Should Trump take the highest office in the land, it’s reasonably safe to say, that he would be pretty friendly to the gambling industry. Trump has spoken out in favor of regulated online gambling in the past and, of course, he also once owned a casino himself.
Trump’s ties with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are well known, but whether or not he’d grant his friend any political favors, such as softening the Fed’s view on sports betting, remains to be seen.
Despite, or perhaps because of, his days in the gambling business Trump doesn’t necessarily have the support of executives within the business. Recently, MGM CEO Jim Murren wrote an endorsement of Clinton in the USA Today. Murren, a lifelong Republican, said he didn’t think Trump had the temperament or business acumen that’s required of American Presidents.
As for the vice-presidential candidates, neither one is really known as a friend to gambling. Neither Mike Pence nor Tim Kaine is in favor of regulated online gambling. Both men reluctantly oversaw expansion of land-based gambling during their times as governors of Indiana and Virginia.