Never far from controversy or media attention, US President Donald Trump has certainly gained a reputation for doing the unexpected and beat the odds as an overwhelming underdog to be elected President.
More well known for his business enterprises than political activities, Trump was nevertheless no stranger to a gamble or taking risks, particularly highlighted by his decision to run for the presidency. Since coming to power, he has made a number of changes to the country’s infrastructure, though one industry which has been left relatively untouched, surprisingly, is the gambling industry.
It is no secret that Trump has a number of interests in this particular area, indeed, during 1984 the businessman opened the Trump Plaza and Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, while he also had considerable shares in a number of other casinos across the country, including Las Vegas, Nevada including the Trump Hotel which opened in 2005 and Tower 1 in 2008.
After the Trump Plaza went bankrupt, he attempted to diversify into online gambling only for his partnership with Betfair to also fail; it is obvious that Trump is very clearly pro gambling. Currently, only five US states have legalised online gambling including Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Indiana, however it is believed a number of others are lobbying to have this legalised.
In 2011, Trump made a clear statement of intent about the activity, highlighting the potential for the US to really capitalise on an industry that he had seen other countries reaping the benefits in.
The President had said at the time:“This has to happen because many other countries are doing it and like usual the U.S. is just missing out.”
What does the future hold for the industry?
This will largely, all be contingent on another successful election campaign; it really is hard to see any other presidential candidate lobbying for the widespread legalisation of online gambling, however, it is no secret that since he came to office he has helped to create many more jobs, which has been based on an improvement in infrastructure.
Making online gambling legal, country wide will inevitably mean more of the same for the US economy and represents a great opportunity to help get American’s into work, however, whether he even eludes to legalising this in his manifesto remains to be seen, though it could definitely be a big selling point should he wish to gain more supporters.
If online gambling is to be legalised across America, it is thought that, first and foremost, a new Attorney General will be needed in order to achieve this. The current, William Bar hasn’t had the best impact on the industry, choosing not to devote any attention to new gambling legislation. What must be understood as well is that Trump is largely more well known in the land based gambling market, with the potential of the real estate always being of considerable appeal, so this could well be the area that he chooses to focus on first if the gambling industry is on his list. Also, his failed attempt at a partnership with Betfair may also have an effect on his decision about whether to legalise the online gambling industry.
Regardless of any opposition that he may face, there definitely is a clear financial benefit to the US economy. The taxes that would be imposed on any new casinos across the US means that these could be pumped back into crucial areas such as education, transport and even healthcare, while it would also create a safe environment for gamblers who already may be partaking in the activity illegally and as a result, not have access to the right information to be able to help them make more informed decisions. When marihuana first became legalised, this decision received its fair share of criticism, though it subsequently helped to reduce gang crime, while contributing billions of dollars every in taxation to states. Whether or not Trump does legalise online gambling across America if he gets re-elected, it would certainly be fair to say that he has definitely made far more controversial decisions.