By Byron La Fleur

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump weighed in on dozens of subjects, ranging from health care reform to his favorite fast food restaurants. Yet one thing he barely mentioned during his year-long campaign was his position on gambling. This should not be a surprise as gambling is a states’ rights issue after all, not a federal one, and therefore had little reason to be discussed during a presidential election. To assume that President Trump doesn’t have a position on the future of gaming would be a mistake, and to assume that he couldn’t or wouldn’t affect the current state of gaming in the U.S. might be a greater one. In one scenario, Trump could legalize sports betting this year, and he could do it without Congress and legislation. In another, lotteries that are currently selling online could have that right revoked if Sen. Lindsey Graham succeeds in passing the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA). Sen. Jeff Sessions, who Trump has nominated as Attorney General, has already suggested that the U.S. Department of Justice’s 2011 memorandum on the Wire Act, which allowed lotteries to sell online, would be revisited. The next four years could have a profound impact on lotteries and the future of U.S. gaming.

Because the new administration could bring about massive changes that reshape the gaming industry, it is important to understand Trump’s history with gambling. In 1984 -1985, Trump built Harrah’s casino and completed Trump Castle Hotel Casino. In 1988, Trump acquired the Taj Mahal casino. In 1996, Trump’s casinos were consolidated into Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. This entity filed for bankruptcy in 2004, leaving Donald Trump with 10% ownership in Trump Taj Mahal and other Trump casino properties. He acted as chairman of the organization, which was renamed Trump Entertainment Resorts, from 1995 to 2009. Trump and his immediate family are no longer owners or involved in any day-to-day operations of any casinos.

However, Trump’s gaming affiliations did not end in 2009. In 2011, Trump formed an online poker company, Poker Ventures LLC with Marc Lasry, billionaire hedge fund manager. Poker Ventures LLC did receive a vendor’s license from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, and the company is considered still active on New Jersey’s public enterprise active vendor list as of today. It was during this time that Trump hinted at his stance of online gaming when he told Forbes, “This has to happen (online poker) because many other countries are doing it and like usual the U.S. is just missing out.”

By Byron La Fleur

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump weighed in on dozens of subjects, ranging from health care reform to his favorite fast food restaurants. Yet one thing he barely mentioned during his year-long campaign was his position on gambling. This should not be a surprise as gambling is a states’ rights issue after all, not a federal one, and therefore had little reason to be discussed during a presidential election. To assume that President Trump doesn’t have a position on the future of gaming would be a mistake, and to assume that he couldn’t or wouldn’t affect the current state of gaming in the U.S. might be a greater one. In one scenario, Trump could legalize sports betting this year, and he could do it without Congress and legislation. In another, lotteries that are currently selling online could have that right revoked if Sen. Lindsey Graham succeeds in passing the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA). Sen. Jeff Sessions, who Trump has nominated as Attorney General, has already suggested that the U.S. Department of Justice’s 2011 memorandum on the Wire Act, which allowed lotteries to sell online, would be revisited. The next four years could have a profound impact on lotteries and the future of U.S. gaming.

Because the new administration could bring about massive changes that reshape the gaming industry, it is important to understand Trump’s history with gambling. In 1984 -1985, Trump built Harrah’s casino and completed Trump Castle Hotel Casino. In 1988, Trump acquired the Taj Mahal casino. In 1996, Trump’s casinos were consolidated into Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. This entity filed for bankruptcy in 2004, leaving Donald Trump with 10% ownership in Trump Taj Mahal and other Trump casino properties. He acted as chairman of the organization, which was renamed Trump Entertainment Resorts, from 1995 to 2009. Trump and his immediate family are no longer owners or involved in any day-to-day operations of any casinos.

However, Trump’s gaming affiliations did not end in 2009. In 2011, Trump formed an online poker company, Poker Ventures LLC with Marc Lasry, billionaire hedge fund manager. Poker Ventures LLC did receive a vendor’s license from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, and the company is considered still active on New Jersey’s public enterprise active vendor list as of today. It was during this time that Trump hinted at his stance of online gaming when he told Forbes, “This has to happen (online poker) because many other countries are doing it and like usual the U.S. is just missing out.”

By Byron La Fleur

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump weighed in on dozens of subjects, ranging from health care reform to his favorite fast food restaurants. Yet one thing he barely mentioned during his year-long campaign was his position on gambling. This should not be a surprise as gambling is a states’ rights issue after all, not a federal one, and therefore had little reason to be discussed during a presidential election. To assume that President Trump doesn’t have a position on the future of gaming would be a mistake, and to assume that he couldn’t or wouldn’t affect the current state of gaming in the U.S. might be a greater one. In one scenario, Trump could legalize sports betting this year, and he could do it without Congress and legislation. In another, lotteries that are currently selling online could have that right revoked if Sen. Lindsey Graham succeeds in passing the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA). Sen. Jeff Sessions, who Trump has nominated as Attorney General, has already suggested that the U.S. Department of Justice’s 2011 memorandum on the Wire Act, which allowed lotteries to sell online, would be revisited. The next four years could have a profound impact on lotteries and the future of U.S. gaming.

Because the new administration could bring about massive changes that reshape the gaming industry, it is important to understand Trump’s history with gambling. In 1984 -1985, Trump built Harrah’s casino and completed Trump Castle Hotel Casino. In 1988, Trump acquired the Taj Mahal casino. In 1996, Trump’s casinos were consolidated into Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. This entity filed for bankruptcy in 2004, leaving Donald Trump with 10% ownership in Trump Taj Mahal and other Trump casino properties. He acted as chairman of the organization, which was renamed Trump Entertainment Resorts, from 1995 to 2009. Trump and his immediate family are no longer owners or involved in any day-to-day operations of any casinos.

However, Trump’s gaming affiliations did not end in 2009. In 2011, Trump formed an online poker company, Poker Ventures LLC with Marc Lasry, billionaire hedge fund manager. Poker Ventures LLC did receive a vendor’s license from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, and the company is considered still active on New Jersey’s public enterprise active vendor list as of today. It was during this time that Trump hinted at his stance of online gaming when he told Forbes, “This has to happen (online poker) because many other countries are doing it and like usual the U.S. is just missing out.”

Sports Betting

Sports Betting

The United States has aggressively fought the legalization of sports betting compared to Europe and Asia that effectively regulate a legal market. Today, the American Gambling Association (AGA) reports at least $150 billion a year is wagered illegally on sports betting in the United States.

The AGA has already recognized Trump as a potential ally in expanding sports betting and casino gaming. In December 2016, the AGA sent Trump a memo in which it detailed the casino industry’s priorities in 2017. It set out describing the 1.7 million jobs it offers, and the $38 billion it pays in annual tax revenue. (The U.S. lotteries contributed $22 billion to good causes in fiscal 2015.) The AGA also went into detail about how casino jobs benefit middle class workers. The priorities touched on illegal gaming, anti-money laundering compliance, tax reforms that lower taxes for gaming companies, and even immigration. One of the key issues that it covers for the lottery industry is sports betting. In the memo, the AGA stated that “rather than setting the standard, the United States is on par with Russia and China, having forced a groundswell of black-market gambling by prohibiting the popular pastime of sports betting.”

Trump appears to agree. “I’m OK with [sports gambling and daily fantasy sports] because it’s happening anyway,” Trump said in November 2015 in an interview he gave with Colin Cowherd on The Herd radio show. “Whether you have it or you don’t have it, you have it.”

In the 1990s, Trump also claimed that sports betting regulation was “vital to putting the bookies out business.”

The AGA needs Trump’s support because aside from a few states, such as Delaware and Nevada, sports betting is illegal due to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA or the Bradley Act). Despite numerous attempts by New Jersey to repeal it or overturn it in the courts, everything has ended in vain. But ESPN has reported that New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone plans to again review current law related to sports betting and online gaming. Pallone also wants Congress to take a look at the 1961 Wire Act and the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). However, this could take years and a conscious effort by the administration to support it before anything would happen. News flash: Congress does not do things quickly.

However, there is a second route to legalizing sports betting. In January 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) delayed a ruling on Christie vs NCAA, et al, which claims that PASPA is unconstitutional. SCOTUS has asked for an opinion on the case from the Solicitor General, whom Trump has not appointed yet. If Trump decides he wants to pursue legalized sports betting, he now has an opportunity to bypass Congress altogether, assuming SCOTUS accepts the case. The chances of that are still slim. Approximately 1% of petitioned cases are heard by the court, but sports betting enthusiasts feel renewed hope with this delay.

Trump’s influence over this case cannot be understated. He alone will appoint his Solicitor General, his Attorney General (nominee Jeff Sessions), and the replacement for Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court judge who died in 2016. All of these men would have a hand in helping or hindering chances for Christie vs NCAA, et al being heard by SCOTUS, and all would support Trump’s position on the issue.

Sports Betting

The United States has aggressively fought the legalization of sports betting compared to Europe and Asia that effectively regulate a legal market. Today, the American Gambling Association (AGA) reports at least $150 billion a year is wagered illegally on sports betting in the United States.

The AGA has already recognized Trump as a potential ally in expanding sports betting and casino gaming. In December 2016, the AGA sent Trump a memo in which it detailed the casino industry’s priorities in 2017. It set out describing the 1.7 million jobs it offers, and the $38 billion it pays in annual tax revenue. (The U.S. lotteries contributed $22 billion to good causes in fiscal 2015.) The AGA also went into detail about how casino jobs benefit middle class workers. The priorities touched on illegal gaming, anti-money laundering compliance, tax reforms that lower taxes for gaming companies, and even immigration. One of the key issues that it covers for the lottery industry is sports betting. In the memo, the AGA stated that “rather than setting the standard, the United States is on par with Russia and China, having forced a groundswell of black-market gambling by prohibiting the popular pastime of sports betting.”

Trump appears to agree. “I’m OK with [sports gambling and daily fantasy sports] because it’s happening anyway,” Trump said in November 2015 in an interview he gave with Colin Cowherd on The Herd radio show. “Whether you have it or you don’t have it, you have it.”

In the 1990s, Trump also claimed that sports betting regulation was “vital to putting the bookies out business.”

The AGA needs Trump’s support because aside from a few states, such as Delaware and Nevada, sports betting is illegal due to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA or the Bradley Act). Despite numerous attempts by New Jersey to repeal it or overturn it in the courts, everything has ended in vain. But ESPN has reported that New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone plans to again review current law related to sports betting and online gaming. Pallone also wants Congress to take a look at the 1961 Wire Act and the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). However, this could take years and a conscious effort by the administration to support it before anything would happen. News flash: Congress does not do things quickly.

However, there is a second route to legalizing sports betting. In January 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) delayed a ruling on Christie vs NCAA, et al, which claims that PASPA is unconstitutional. SCOTUS has asked for an opinion on the case from the Solicitor General, whom Trump has not appointed yet. If Trump decides he wants to pursue legalized sports betting, he now has an opportunity to bypass Congress altogether, assuming SCOTUS accepts the case. The chances of that are still slim. Approximately 1% of petitioned cases are heard by the court, but sports betting enthusiasts feel renewed hope with this delay.

Trump’s influence over this case cannot be understated. He alone will appoint his Solicitor General, his Attorney General (nominee Jeff Sessions), and the replacement for Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court judge who died in 2016. All of these men would have a hand in helping or hindering chances for Christie vs NCAA, et al being heard by SCOTUS, and all would support Trump’s position on the issue.

Sports Betting

The United States has aggressively fought the legalization of sports betting compared to Europe and Asia that effectively regulate a legal market. Today, the American Gambling Association (AGA) reports at least $150 billion a year is wagered illegally on sports betting in the United States.

The AGA has already recognized Trump as a potential ally in expanding sports betting and casino gaming. In December 2016, the AGA sent Trump a memo in which it detailed the casino industry’s priorities in 2017. It set out describing the 1.7 million jobs it offers, and the $38 billion it pays in annual tax revenue. (The U.S. lotteries contributed $22 billion to good causes in fiscal 2015.) The AGA also went into detail about how casino jobs benefit middle class workers. The priorities touched on illegal gaming, anti-money laundering compliance, tax reforms that lower taxes for gaming companies, and even immigration. One of the key issues that it covers for the lottery industry is sports betting. In the memo, the AGA stated that “rather than setting the standard, the United States is on par with Russia and China, having forced a groundswell of black-market gambling by prohibiting the popular pastime of sports betting.”

Trump appears to agree. “I’m OK with [sports gambling and daily fantasy sports] because it’s happening anyway,” Trump said in November 2015 in an interview he gave with Colin Cowherd on The Herd radio show. “Whether you have it or you don’t have it, you have it.”

In the 1990s, Trump also claimed that sports betting regulation was “vital to putting the bookies out business.”

The AGA needs Trump’s support because aside from a few states, such as Delaware and Nevada, sports betting is illegal due to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA or the Bradley Act). Despite numerous attempts by New Jersey to repeal it or overturn it in the courts, everything has ended in vain. But ESPN has reported that New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone plans to again review current law related to sports betting and online gaming. Pallone also wants Congress to take a look at the 1961 Wire Act and the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). However, this could take years and a conscious effort by the administration to support it before anything would happen. News flash: Congress does not do things quickly.

However, there is a second route to legalizing sports betting. In January 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) delayed a ruling on Christie vs NCAA, et al, which claims that PASPA is unconstitutional. SCOTUS has asked for an opinion on the case from the Solicitor General, whom Trump has not appointed yet. If Trump decides he wants to pursue legalized sports betting, he now has an opportunity to bypass Congress altogether, assuming SCOTUS accepts the case. The chances of that are still slim. Approximately 1% of petitioned cases are heard by the court, but sports betting enthusiasts feel renewed hope with this delay.

Trump’s influence over this case cannot be understated. He alone will appoint his Solicitor General, his Attorney General (nominee Jeff Sessions), and the replacement for Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court judge who died in 2016. All of these men would have a hand in helping or hindering chances for Christie vs NCAA, et al being heard by SCOTUS, and all would support Trump’s position on the issue.

Poker/Online Gaming

Poker/Online Gaming

Online poker, however, was left out of the AGA’s memo to President Trump. The reason has something to do with American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. He has taken a strong stance against online gambling. Adelson holds a lot of power within the AGA and on Capitol Hill. In 2012/2013, he hired an army of lobbyists to prevent Congress from legalizing internet gambling.

“I am willing to spend whatever it takes [to stop online gambling,” Adelson was quoted in a 2013 interview with Forbes. “My moral standard compels me to speak out on this issue because I am the largest company by far in the industry and I am willing to speak out. I don’t see any compelling reason for the government to allow people to gamble on the internet and nobody has ever explained except for the two companies whose special interest is going to be served if there is gaming on the Internet, Caesars and MGM.”

Adelson’s definition of internet gambling encompasses many forms. “Poker is gambling. They say poker is a game of skill. I don’t know how skill can apply to somebody shuffling a deck of cards and randomly giving them out to you. You don’t have any control over it,” Adelson said. “Daily fantasy sports is gambling. There’s no question about it. Anybody can play this, and they can gamble on it.”

Adelson’s work can be seen in the Restoration of the Wire Act (RAWA). The RAWA, sponsored by Sen. Graham, seeks to amend the Wire Act to prohibit wagering over the internet. This would undo the Department of Justice’s 2011 legal opinion of the Wire Act which allowed U.S. state lotteries, such as Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota, to begin selling tickets online. RAWA would immediately make all state-regulated online gambling illegal, including states that have already allow it. It would, however, officially allow “any activities set forth in section 5362(1)(E)) of title 16 31” (UIGEA), the most notable of which is daily fantasy sport games.

Adelson’s views about online gaming will shape the gaming industry because he contributes so much money to Republican campaigns. Adelson gave $25 million to a pro-Trump PAC and $40 million to conservative PACs. In a Republican-controlled Congress and White House, he holds a lot of power. His opinions will likely mirror the opinions of many congressmen. He’ll also likely have an easy time swaying Trump’s opinion on many issues, including internet gaming and online poker.

However, before the election, it appeared that the RAWA’s window may have closed. After failing in 2013-2014, 2014-15, and 2015-2016, it appeared the Republican National Committee has reversed course in its online gambling ban, and will no longer urge its members to oppose iGaming. Gambling Compliance reported that during the Republican National Convention: “It’s a view that might seem to more correctly align with conservative principles, after all. Long the official champions of states’ rights and the Constitution, the GOP’s federal opposition to allowing a state to decide whether it wants to authorize online gambling has been befuddling to many all along.”

Sessions, Trump’s appointee for attorney general, seems to have made an about face from what Gambling Compliance reported. In January, during Session’s nomination, when Sen. Graham asked him about the Wire Act and the 2011 memorandum, Sessions responded: “Senator Graham, I was shocked at the memorandum that the DOJ issued in regards to the Wire Act. I did criticize it,” he said, although seemed to immediately backtrack from initial response. “I did oppose [the 2011 DOJ opinion] when it happened, and it seemed to me to be unusual. I would revisit it or make a decision about it based on careful study. I haven’t gone that far to give you an opinion today.”

It is difficult to find any evidence that Sessions did oppose the 2011 DOJ’s memorandum on the Wire Act before his nomination hearing. He stated that he hadn’t studied the opinion, so it is also possible that upon reading the DOJ opinion, he could agree with the decision. But Sessions, a social conservative, would presumably be against the expansion of gaming, and the chance he upholds a decision made by an Obama-nominated DOJ seems low

Poker/Online Gaming

Online poker, however, was left out of the AGA’s memo to President Trump. The reason has something to do with American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. He has taken a strong stance against online gambling. Adelson holds a lot of power within the AGA and on Capitol Hill. In 2012/2013, he hired an army of lobbyists to prevent Congress from legalizing internet gambling.

“I am willing to spend whatever it takes [to stop online gambling,” Adelson was quoted in a 2013 interview with Forbes. “My moral standard compels me to speak out on this issue because I am the largest company by far in the industry and I am willing to speak out. I don’t see any compelling reason for the government to allow people to gamble on the internet and nobody has ever explained except for the two companies whose special interest is going to be served if there is gaming on the Internet, Caesars and MGM.”

Adelson’s definition of internet gambling encompasses many forms. “Poker is gambling. They say poker is a game of skill. I don’t know how skill can apply to somebody shuffling a deck of cards and randomly giving them out to you. You don’t have any control over it,” Adelson said. “Daily fantasy sports is gambling. There’s no question about it. Anybody can play this, and they can gamble on it.”

Adelson’s work can be seen in the Restoration of the Wire Act (RAWA). The RAWA, sponsored by Sen. Graham, seeks to amend the Wire Act to prohibit wagering over the internet. This would undo the Department of Justice’s 2011 legal opinion of the Wire Act which allowed U.S. state lotteries, such as Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota, to begin selling tickets online. RAWA would immediately make all state-regulated online gambling illegal, including states that have already allow it. It would, however, officially allow “any activities set forth in section 5362(1)(E)) of title 16 31” (UIGEA), the most notable of which is daily fantasy sport games.

Adelson’s views about online gaming will shape the gaming industry because he contributes so much money to Republican campaigns. Adelson gave $25 million to a pro-Trump PAC and $40 million to conservative PACs. In a Republican-controlled Congress and White House, he holds a lot of power. His opinions will likely mirror the opinions of many congressmen. He’ll also likely have an easy time swaying Trump’s opinion on many issues, including internet gaming and online poker.

However, before the election, it appeared that the RAWA’s window may have closed. After failing in 2013-2014, 2014-15, and 2015-2016, it appeared the Republican National Committee has reversed course in its online gambling ban, and will no longer urge its members to oppose iGaming. Gambling Compliance reported that during the Republican National Convention: “It’s a view that might seem to more correctly align with conservative principles, after all. Long the official champions of states’ rights and the Constitution, the GOP’s federal opposition to allowing a state to decide whether it wants to authorize online gambling has been befuddling to many all along.”

Sessions, Trump’s appointee for attorney general, seems to have made an about face from what Gambling Compliance reported. In January, during Session’s nomination, when Sen. Graham asked him about the Wire Act and the 2011 memorandum, Sessions responded: “Senator Graham, I was shocked at the memorandum that the DOJ issued in regards to the Wire Act. I did criticize it,” he said, although seemed to immediately backtrack from initial response. “I did oppose [the 2011 DOJ opinion] when it happened, and it seemed to me to be unusual. I would revisit it or make a decision about it based on careful study. I haven’t gone that far to give you an opinion today.”

It is difficult to find any evidence that Sessions did oppose the 2011 DOJ’s memorandum on the Wire Act before his nomination hearing. He stated that he hadn’t studied the opinion, so it is also possible that upon reading the DOJ opinion, he could agree with the decision. But Sessions, a social conservative, would presumably be against the expansion of gaming, and the chance he upholds a decision made by an Obama-nominated DOJ seems low

Poker/Online Gaming

Online poker, however, was left out of the AGA’s memo to President Trump. The reason has something to do with American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. He has taken a strong stance against online gambling. Adelson holds a lot of power within the AGA and on Capitol Hill. In 2012/2013, he hired an army of lobbyists to prevent Congress from legalizing internet gambling.

“I am willing to spend whatever it takes [to stop online gambling,” Adelson was quoted in a 2013 interview with Forbes. “My moral standard compels me to speak out on this issue because I am the largest company by far in the industry and I am willing to speak out. I don’t see any compelling reason for the government to allow people to gamble on the internet and nobody has ever explained except for the two companies whose special interest is going to be served if there is gaming on the Internet, Caesars and MGM.”

Adelson’s definition of internet gambling encompasses many forms. “Poker is gambling. They say poker is a game of skill. I don’t know how skill can apply to somebody shuffling a deck of cards and randomly giving them out to you. You don’t have any control over it,” Adelson said. “Daily fantasy sports is gambling. There’s no question about it. Anybody can play this, and they can gamble on it.”

Adelson’s work can be seen in the Restoration of the Wire Act (RAWA). The RAWA, sponsored by Sen. Graham, seeks to amend the Wire Act to prohibit wagering over the internet. This would undo the Department of Justice’s 2011 legal opinion of the Wire Act which allowed U.S. state lotteries, such as Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota, to begin selling tickets online. RAWA would immediately make all state-regulated online gambling illegal, including states that have already allow it. It would, however, officially allow “any activities set forth in section 5362(1)(E)) of title 16 31” (UIGEA), the most notable of which is daily fantasy sport games.

Adelson’s views about online gaming will shape the gaming industry because he contributes so much money to Republican campaigns. Adelson gave $25 million to a pro-Trump PAC and $40 million to conservative PACs. In a Republican-controlled Congress and White House, he holds a lot of power. His opinions will likely mirror the opinions of many congressmen. He’ll also likely have an easy time swaying Trump’s opinion on many issues, including internet gaming and online poker.

However, before the election, it appeared that the RAWA’s window may have closed. After failing in 2013-2014, 2014-15, and 2015-2016, it appeared the Republican National Committee has reversed course in its online gambling ban, and will no longer urge its members to oppose iGaming. Gambling Compliance reported that during the Republican National Convention: “It’s a view that might seem to more correctly align with conservative principles, after all. Long the official champions of states’ rights and the Constitution, the GOP’s federal opposition to allowing a state to decide whether it wants to authorize online gambling has been befuddling to many all along.”

Sessions, Trump’s appointee for attorney general, seems to have made an about face from what Gambling Compliance reported. In January, during Session’s nomination, when Sen. Graham asked him about the Wire Act and the 2011 memorandum, Sessions responded: “Senator Graham, I was shocked at the memorandum that the DOJ issued in regards to the Wire Act. I did criticize it,” he said, although seemed to immediately backtrack from initial response. “I did oppose [the 2011 DOJ opinion] when it happened, and it seemed to me to be unusual. I would revisit it or make a decision about it based on careful study. I haven’t gone that far to give you an opinion today.”

It is difficult to find any evidence that Sessions did oppose the 2011 DOJ’s memorandum on the Wire Act before his nomination hearing. He stated that he hadn’t studied the opinion, so it is also possible that upon reading the DOJ opinion, he could agree with the decision. But Sessions, a social conservative, would presumably be against the expansion of gaming, and the chance he upholds a decision made by an Obama-nominated DOJ seems low

The Future?

The Future?

The next four years will likely see one major change in the gaming industry. While Trump’s casino background gives some hope and others worry, he hasn’t mentioned any stance on gaming over the course of the past year. Trump is not known for keeping his opinions to himself. But with bigger issues to deal with, Trump might ignore the expansion of gaming until legislation reaches his desk. But the question is, what will that legislation be? The options are wide open, from legalizing all forms of internet gaming, including poker, to just allowing sports betting. If passed, RAWA could even require U.S. lotteries to shut down their iLottery operations.

Overall, internet gaming seems destined to be sidelined. While Adelson works to ban internet gaming, a Republican-dominated Congress still doesn’t appear to have the stomach to pass RAWA. Sessions could revisit the issue but any change would create a headache for the new Trump administration, considering that some states, notably New Jersey, already allow online gaming. This likely would distract from the new administration’s target goals. But the chance that iGaming expands seems even less likely. Many Republican candidates will not want to incur the wrath of Adelson. The most likely scenario seems to be inaction for a few years. Adelson, after all, is 83.

The legalization of sports betting, on the other hand, seems more likely. Daily fantasy sports have paved the way for sports gambling and it is obvious the American people are hungry for it. Trump’s apparent approval, combined with the AGA’s support and SCOTUS’ willingness to relook at the constitutionality of the PASPA, bodes well for the future of U.S. sports betting. Even if the Supreme Court doesn’t change PASPA, the AGA is confident that there are big changes on the horizon. In April of 2016, Triblive reported AGA CEO Geoff Freeman said “the next president is going to have that issue of legalizing sports betting on their desk, and I’m confident they’ll make the right decision.”

Just don’t expect to be able to place your bets online.

Donald Trump Photo by Gage Skidmore, alterations by Byron La Fleur

The Future?

The next four years will likely see one major change in the gaming industry. While Trump’s casino background gives some hope and others worry, he hasn’t mentioned any stance on gaming over the course of the past year. Trump is not known for keeping his opinions to himself. But with bigger issues to deal with, Trump might ignore the expansion of gaming until legislation reaches his desk. But the question is, what will that legislation be? The options are wide open, from legalizing all forms of internet gaming, including poker, to just allowing sports betting. If passed, RAWA could even require U.S. lotteries to shut down their iLottery operations.

Overall, internet gaming seems destined to be sidelined. While Adelson works to ban internet gaming, a Republican-dominated Congress still doesn’t appear to have the stomach to pass RAWA. Sessions could revisit the issue but any change would create a headache for the new Trump administration, considering that some states, notably New Jersey, already allow online gaming. This likely would distract from the new administration’s target goals. But the chance that iGaming expands seems even less likely. Many Republican candidates will not want to incur the wrath of Adelson. The most likely scenario seems to be inaction for a few years. Adelson, after all, is 83.

The legalization of sports betting, on the other hand, seems more likely. Daily fantasy sports have paved the way for sports gambling and it is obvious the American people are hungry for it. Trump’s apparent approval, combined with the AGA’s support and SCOTUS’ willingness to relook at the constitutionality of the PASPA, bodes well for the future of U.S. sports betting. Even if the Supreme Court doesn’t change PASPA, the AGA is confident that there are big changes on the horizon. In April of 2016, Triblive reported AGA CEO Geoff Freeman said “the next president is going to have that issue of legalizing sports betting on their desk, and I’m confident they’ll make the right decision.”

Just don’t expect to be able to place your bets online.

Donald Trump Photo by Gage Skidmore, alterations by Byron La Fleur

The Future?

The next four years will likely see one major change in the gaming industry. While Trump’s casino background gives some hope and others worry, he hasn’t mentioned any stance on gaming over the course of the past year. Trump is not known for keeping his opinions to himself. But with bigger issues to deal with, Trump might ignore the expansion of gaming until legislation reaches his desk. But the question is, what will that legislation be? The options are wide open, from legalizing all forms of internet gaming, including poker, to just allowing sports betting. If passed, RAWA could even require U.S. lotteries to shut down their iLottery operations.

Overall, internet gaming seems destined to be sidelined. While Adelson works to ban internet gaming, a Republican-dominated Congress still doesn’t appear to have the stomach to pass RAWA. Sessions could revisit the issue but any change would create a headache for the new Trump administration, considering that some states, notably New Jersey, already allow online gaming. This likely would distract from the new administration’s target goals. But the chance that iGaming expands seems even less likely. Many Republican candidates will not want to incur the wrath of Adelson. The most likely scenario seems to be inaction for a few years. Adelson, after all, is 83.

The legalization of sports betting, on the other hand, seems more likely. Daily fantasy sports have paved the way for sports gambling and it is obvious the American people are hungry for it. Trump’s apparent approval, combined with the AGA’s support and SCOTUS’ willingness to relook at the constitutionality of the PASPA, bodes well for the future of U.S. sports betting. Even if the Supreme Court doesn’t change PASPA, the AGA is confident that there are big changes on the horizon. In April of 2016, Triblive reported AGA CEO Geoff Freeman said “the next president is going to have that issue of legalizing sports betting on their desk, and I’m confident they’ll make the right decision.”

Just don’t expect to be able to place your bets online.

Donald Trump Photo by Gage Skidmore, alterations by Byron La Fleur