A Trump Presidency and US Online Gambling - a Guessing Game

Elana K. - November 18, 2016

Will Donald Trump's loyalty to Sheldon Adelson lead him to ban online gambling at a federal level? Or will Trump be the president to finally legalize iGaming across the board?

Following last week's election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, online gambling supporters are now asking the question, how will a Trump presidency affect online gambling? The cause for concern comes from Trump’s close relationship with Sheldon Adelson, the leading force against online gambling. Adelson is reported to have donated $25 million towards Trump’s campaign against Hillary Clinton, a sum that is not easy to dismiss.

The State of Online Gambling in America Today

Up until this point, online gambling has remained a hot issue at both the state and federal level. While individual states do have the right to legalize iGaming, only three have elected to do so in the past three years: Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey. 

At the federal level, passionate efforts were made over the past few years by Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Sheldon Adelson to pass a bill called RAWA, the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, which would ban online gambling at a federal level, even for those states that already legalized it. Their efforts, however, proved futile in the face of the opposition’s claim that RAWA would trample on states’ rights.

Which Way Will Trump Go?

There are two schools of thought: Trump’s loyalty to Adelson (and other prominent Republicans) will lead him to push RAWA forward, or his background as a casino owner will lead him in the opposite direction. A third option would be that he will maintain the current status quo of allowing states to create their own laws regarding online gambling, with no federal input.

However, as online gambling becomes more and more prominent in American culture, the federal government will have to make a stand at some point. But we will just have to wait and see if Trump will be the president to make that move.

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