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Obama and Romney Positions on Online Gambling

Do you know where Barack Obama and Mitt Romney stand on the subject of online gambling? Even if you watched all the primary debates and campaign speeches, you still might not have a very good idea.

Even though iGaming has the potential to raise billions of dollars in tax revenues and is enjoyed by millions of Americans, candidates rarely discuss the subject on the campaign trail.

Here’s a quick look at where Obama and Romney stand on iGaming issues.

Romney and the GOP

The GOP has long been the party of conservative social values, so it’s no surprise they’ve taken a strong anti-gambling view on their party platform. Their official stance is a ban on iGaming and a return to the pre-December 2011 interpretation of the Federal Wire Act of 1961.

Early in the primary season, Romney claimed to still be coming to a position on the subject, but was able to find his way once the Nevada primaries were in the books. His post-primary stance tows the party’s anti-gaming stance.

Romney hasn’t really addressed gambling as a states’ rights issue, nor has he called out New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie for his support of repealing the US sports betting ban.

Obama and the Democrats

The Democratic Party in the US takes a much softer line on Internet gambling than their GOP peers.

Back in December of 2011, the Department of Justice seriously softened its interpretation of the Wire Act and opened the door for legal Internet gambling in the US. This move would not have taken place without Obama’s approval.

In a response to a poker player petition calling for legalized online poker earlier this year, the Obama administration made its stance very clear. The brief response said that decisions regarding online gaming should be left in the hands of the state governments, not the Feds.

After the Election

What the political parties say today and what they’ll do tomorrow are two very different animals. State governments are unlikely to go backwards on intrastate poker schemes and Romney White House would be unlikely to challenge them on the subject.

If Obama is elected, we expect legalization efforts on the poker front to continue unabated.

What’s your take on the subject? Post up in the comments section below.