Donald Trump May Oppose Many Things, But Online Gambling Isn’t One

John Mehaffey August 4, 2015 1727 Reads
Trump online gambling GOP debate

Describing Donald Trump as the most controversial presidential candidate is an understatement. His comments have struck nerves across the political spectrum.

Trump is a long shot in the presidential race. Offshore sportsbooks post 25/1 odds against Trump winning the White House race. There are three Republican candidates with better odds, as well as two Democrats.

On the other hand, Barack Obama was trailing Hillary Clinton by a 2-1 margin in the polls at this point in 2007. Obama’s lead in the race did not take shape until February 2008. Trump is already leading the GOP race in most polls.

Support for and involvement in regulated online gambling

The online gaming industry may not want to immediately dismiss Trump’s candidacy.

Trump is a strong proponent of legalized online gaming. “It has to happen because many other countries are doing it and like usual the U.S. is just missing out,” Trump told Forbes in 2011.

At the time, Donald Trump and Trump Entertainment were in the planning stages of a joint online gaming venture. New York hedge-fund manager Marc Lasry was also named as a partner.

The company formed through this partnership appears to be Poker Ventures LLC. This company incorporated in Nevada and Delaware in 2012. It was incorporated in New Jersey in July 2013 between the time online gaming was legalized in New Jersey and when it went live.

Poker Ventures received a vendor license to operate in the New Jersey interactive gaming industry.

The company uses the same address as The Trump Corporation on its New Jersey vendor license and corporate filings disclose Donald Trump as the director. While Donald Trump and Poker Ventures never officially moved into the New Jersey online gaming market, his position on the issue is clear.

Trump Entertainment took another path, partnering with Ultimate Gaming and Betfair under two separate Atlantic City resorts.

You won’t see the Trump online casino anytime soon, however

Trump’s name could not be licensed for gaming over the Internet. It is only licensed for use at Atlantic City casinos.

Insiders at Ultimate Gaming cited this as one of the reasons for its failure to capture any significant market share. Competitors at most New Jersey poker and casino sites used the brand name of the Atlantic City casino associated with its license in some capacity. Ultimate Gaming was unable to do so.

Betfair was under the same restriction before it moved to Golden Nugget’s license.

Trump could play the iGaming card in his favor

Trump is leading the Republican presidential primary polls. This guarantees him inclusion in debates for as long as he shows in polls.

Online gaming is not a hot button topic, but it is not out of the question that Trump could use it to show hypocrisy among some of his opponents that favor a states’ rights position, while at the same time supporting a federal government ban of online gaming.

Getting the topic out in the open in a presidential debate would only be a positive for the online gaming industry, even if you don’t like the messenger.

Image Andrew Cline / Shutterstock.com