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Trump payment app ban impacts US gambling operators

It seems like a pretty safe bet that when President Trump banned a group of Chinese payment apps recently he didn’t think much about the impact it would have on US gambling operators. After all, isn’t that why big time casino magnates like Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn poured hundreds of millions of dollars into conservative campaigns, including the campaign that brought Trump to power?

Turns out, some of his supporters shot themselves in the foot by supporting an administration that is definitely not looking out for their best interests.

At the heart of the matter is a recent decision by the Trump administration to unleash chaos on international trade by banning eight popular Chinese payment apps including WeChat Pay and Alipay. While these apps are relatively obscure outside China, they’re absolutely everywhere inside. Among the many businesses that include them as part of their daily lives and that includes interactions with regulated gambling operators in Macau. Losing out on those apps means losing access to literally billions of potential customers.

That’s a pretty big deal to American casino companies who operate in Macau including MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts. Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire owner of the Las Vegas Sands contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to GOP candidates, including Donald Trump with the unspoken agreement that their interests would be looked after. Like so many others, they’ve learned that unless their best interests are perfectly aligned with Trump’s, they’ll be steamrolled out of the way.

Fortunately for the good folks keeping the gambling industry alive and well in Macau, Trump’s order isn’t set to take effect until next month and there’s a good chance that the Biden administration will stop Trump’s order in its tracks.