America decides and the rest ultimately follow. That’s the Lucky Nugget Casino opinion, anyway.
It’s the unfortunate truth, but the truth nonetheless. The 2016 Presidential Elections see three politicians potentially heading for the White House — Bernie Sanders, Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump.
The question we’re asking to day is — which politician is better for online gamblers?
The two former are from the Democrat party, nominally socialists in principal (of course, this is to be debated), while Trump is rampant capitalist with regressive right-wing ideologies. While they have important policies on welfare, policing, liberty and the economy, they are also outspoken about something that so many of you hold true (especially readers of this blog) — gambling.
So, to prepare you for the worst (which, of course, doesn’t really effect anyone from Oceania, but could well effect those from Canada), we’ve decided to pull all the information you need together.
So, without further ado, here’s what America’s potential presidents think about legalized gambling.
Bernie Sanders on legalized gambling
We’ll put it simply — if you’re a fan of online gambling, you don’t want Bernie Sanders gracing the White House any time soon. According to a number of online gaming groups, members have openly criticized the socialist over his vastly anti-online gaming voting history. According to records, he’s not only been positive in voting against online gaming, he’s rallied behind a number of anti-gaming bills, that have the potential to hurt, or even wipe out business depending on the revenue from gamers.
Supporting the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act
Sometime before the UIGEA bill was passed in America, there was another bill proposed: the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act, which was also known as the H.R 4411 bill. This bill had a few purposes, but one key component was to change the meaning of the Interstate Wire Act of 1961, to include all forms of gambling.
The Interstate Wire Act of 1961 restricted the use of wiring money for the purpose of gambling — let’s take a look at the wording of the act below:
‘Whoever being engaged in the business of betting or wagering knowingly uses a wire communication facility for the transmission in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers or information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest, or for the transmission of a wire communication which entitles the recipient to receive money or credit as a result of bets or wagers, or for information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both’
With the ratification of the act taking place in 1961, online gaming obviously doesn’t get a mention. Now, you might ask why this is important? Bernie was merely supporting a change in the law, in an attempt to keep it relevant. Well, some would say this is noble, but others would suggest that Bernie was attempting to slyly strike the online gaming market. There was no need to change a law that was relevant in the 1960s, especially when security standards are more rigorous and money can be tracked rather easily
Not only did Bernie support this though, he was very active in debates and regularly showed to the House of Representatives to comment on this. Clearly Bernie has some issues against online gambling — or maybe gambling as a whole.
Fortunately for online gaming fans, H.R 4411 didn’t pass. Instead, it was stripped down and added to the SAFE Port Act, which became, begrudgingly to online gambling fans, the UIGEA. Sure, it stops a lot of illegal gambling practices, which of course we support completely, but the way it was shoe-horned into the reasonable SAFE Port Act. Different states have different laws; for a casino to be based in one state where gambling is legal, to let a player enter where it otherwise be illegal, is a sticky subject. Michael D. Schmitt suggested that it would essentially create a 1920s prohibition-esque environment, where people would eventually find a way to play regardless.
Bernie’s views on record
Bernie isn’t the first, nor will he be the last politician to attempt to ban online gambling. It appears though, that politicians haven’t been as active about the subject as Sanders has. Furthermore, not all of them have made misleading remarks about their opinion at meetings while on the campaign trail.
When asked for his opinion on the regulation of online poker, Sanders stated that he hadn’t given it much though, apart from the view that companies shouldn’t take advantage of players. This, as you would guess, has helped build up his ‘anti-corporation’ image, but it’s obvious from the evidence above that Bernie is against online poker. He simply wouldn’t have backed H.R 4411, related to the Interstate Wire Act of 1961, if he was for online poker.
So, as you would guess, if Bernie got into office it wouldn’t be good news for online gamers in the USA. He’s campaigned to change regulation to halter online gaming progress, and that’s no good!
Compared to Bernie Sanders, Hilary Clinton isn’t as against online gambling. In 2000, when asked whether bringing a tribal casino to Monticello Raceway – in the Catskills – was a good idea, she not only agreed, but offered support. Of course, she’s not always been a supported of gaming expansion, arguing the negative effects it can have on the lower classes, however she certainly supported this move.
“[I]f Niagara believe[s] that a casino would help attract more tourists back to what really was the tourism capital of America for so many decades, I – I would support that.”
However, some years earlier, back in 1984 as first lady of Arkansas, Clinton spoke out about opposing a ballot initiative which would bring casino gaming to the state. So, like most of Clinton’s opinions, they’re rather mixed.
Hilary Clinton on Online Gaming
On the topic of online gaming, Hilary Clinton did in-fact vote for the SAFE Port Act, which prohibits interstate payments for gambling and sports betting — unlawful under any federal and state law. Clinton is for online gaming regulation though, as opposed to a complete ban. In 2008, she indicated that she supported a study to determine whether it was possible to regulate internet gaming completely, to promote business in the U.S, while also instigating safeguards to protect minors and addressing various other gambling issues.
Ultimately, what we can expect from a Clinton administration in terms of gambling policy is this:
- It would take a favourable view on federal legislation to expand internet gaming, as long as there were strict safeguards to prevent problem gambling.
- A federal ban on internet gambling, pushed through via a restored Wire Act, would not be supported from a Clinton administration — as opposed to a Sanders administration.
- Whether states would be allowed to offer internet gaming, or create a federal licensing or oversight role is the real question being asked by critics.
All we know is that a Clinton administration would be more beneficial for online gambling fans than an administration headed by Bernie Sanders.
Where to start with Donald Trump. Is he in favour of gambling? We’d say so, and here’s why: Trump Casinos.
The spokesman for free-market capitalism has owned and operated his own branch of online casinos, so yeah, if you want a president that’s going to keep the online gaming industry booming, he’s your man.
Casino magnate from the 1980s
Donald Trump, with a ‘small loan of a million dollars’ set out to carry on in his father’s footsteps, as a property magnate. He began by purchasing property within Atlantic City, in particular the boardwalk, and recieved a casino license from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. Setting grand expectations for himself, as you would expect from the Trumpster, he initially planned to build his own casino but was stalled when Mike Ross, the CEO of Holiday Inn and Harrah’s at this point, approached the now-republican candidate to help manage the construction of a Holiday Inn Casino + Hotel complex. This was renamed the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino and became an instant hit.
Five years later, Trump acquired the Hilton Hotel and casino property at the Atlantic marina for around $325 million. This was due to the Hilton being denied a license to operate a casino and so, with Trump already holding his own, the Trump Marina (originally the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino) was born.
Just three years later, and well on his rise to owning his casino empire, Trump purchased the not-then complete Taj Mahal property from Resorts International. This came in at $230 million, after negotiation with Merv Griffin, where the two decided eventually to split the assets of the failing business. The casino was the largest casino in Atlantic City and in the end, cost around $1 billion by the time of opening. Trump was able to complete the project via junk bonds, a decision that is reported to have damaged the company afterwards, especially during the recession where interest rates became unmanageable.
So, yeah, Donald Trump most certainly has a history in casino gaming. While it might not have worked out well for him, his whole campaign would be damaged through calls of hypocrisy, even if he considered approaching the subject. If you’re an online gambler, Trump is probably your best bet.
Why does it matter what America does, anyway?
Well, America has the reputation to lead the way in certain fields. Being a rather powerful country, what they suggest has the ability to trickle down to other countries. With next door neighbours being Canada, America’s influence can be great. After all, if they’re doing it over in the states, why not give it a shot over here? Of course, we can’t speak for other countries, but if Trump has anything to do with it, he’ll be influencing the thoughts of others as well as his own people.
There’s also quite a few online casinos in the states that operate in other countries. If you’ve got a favourite casino that’s based overseas, Bernie’s policies could affect your access to those sites. Sure, there’s a great range of casino games available through over websites, but everyone has their own particular online casino they play at.
So, there you have it, we’ve taken a look at the best, and there’s no need to take a look at the rest (there’s nobody else in content to be the next president). What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below!