US Online Gambling’s Future is Hazy with Trump in the Driving Seat

It’s been one of the strangest years in recent times. Sadly, many popular entertainers began to pass away the moment 2016 opened its doors, and the political changes that have been made since are nothing short of astronomical. First came Brexit in June, as the people of the UK decided to sever ties with the European Union (EU), but nothing could prepare the world for Donald J. Trump being elected into the White House.

We imagine the President-elect has got a lot of things on his plate this Christmas Eve in preparation for his inauguration in January – a truly monumental occasion – but what does his election mean for the future of online gambling in the US?

Donald Trump’s History with Casinos

You’ve almost certainly read a lot about Donald Trump over the past few months, and you’ve probably never been as up-to-date regarding his life before. However, unless you’ve delved back into the early 1980s, then you may be surprised to know that Trump has casino history.

Acquiring a New Jersey gaming license in 1982, the billionaire business mogul bought into many casino deals over the subsequent years, including the 1984 opening of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino. Now, his history in the gambling world hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing (in fact, he only recently sued his former partners for continuing to use his name in their operations), but that doesn’t mean he’s been turned away from the idea.

Indeed, in 2011, Donald Trump said the following:

This [online gambling] has to happen because many other countries are doing it and, like usual, the US is just missing out.

This also happened to be the same year that the Department of Justice paved the way for regulated online gambling in the US, depending on each individual state.

Surely Trump’s History is Good for Further Online Gaming in the US, Right?

His previous stance would leave people in the iGaming world to think that regulated online casino and gambling in the US could be more widespread, however there are many in the Republican Party who oppose it fiercely.

Not even a month after Trump’s election was it made public that a group of 10 attorney generals had written to Vice President-elect Mike Pence to encourage the new administration to consider the Restoration of America’s Wire-Act (RAWA), according to Nevada representative Dina Titus. This act would essentially render all forms of US online gambling illegal, apart from horse betting and daily fantasy sports.

While RAWA isn’t considered to be the finished article by all Republicans, one of Trump’s largest donors during his presidential run was renowned internet gambling critic, Sheldon Adelson. He contributed $25 million to the New Yorker’s bid to overthrow Hillary Clinton, and many believe that this influence will have a telling effect on Trump’s future US online betting plans.

It Really Could Go Either Way

With Donald Trump’s casino history facing up to a huge wave of US online gambling opponents, it’s difficult to see exactly which way the tables will turn. As Trump has a lot on his plate at the moment, we don’t expect any clear indication of the industry’s future until his feet are at least under the table.

With many Republicans openly criticising online betting in the US and making their intentions to outlaw it clear, many would think that it’s a bleak outlook considering Trump’s status as a Republican president combined with the US Senate being a red majority. One thing that online gambling activists in the US are holding onto, though, is Trump’s trend of ignoring many senior Republicans during his campaign.

However, with the race now won, it appears the chosen candidate is beginning to renege on a few feuds with Republican members, and only the future knows whether President Trump will be in favour of regulated US online gambling on a larger scale.