As happens every election cycle, the poker world is debating which Presidential candidates are best for online poker. We’re still a long way from determining who will face off for the final showdown for the White House but that isn’t stopping us from analyzing the candidates.
Today, we take a quick look at the Presidential frontrunners from both major parties. For the Republican side, we’re looking at the national polls as opposed to recent primary victories in analyzing the frontrunners.
Where do the candidates stand regarding online poker? Here’s our take.
Trump – We Will Make Poker Great Again but Megan Kelly is Not Allowed to Play
Donald Trump has been on record in the past as supporting online poker and once told Forbes that the U.S. is “missing out” on the revenue that iPoker can generate. His stance on iPoker will be considered one of his more liberal views if it were ever to become a significant issue at the national level.
One thing we can be certain is that it’s unlikely that online gambling would be banned under President Trump. He wouldn’t restrict states from being able to explore the revenue possibilities with online gambling.
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2016
Trump promises to make America great again and revenue from online poker and iGaming can go a long way to helping states to rebound from their financial woes of the last few years.
Rubio – F*** Online Gambling
Rubio supports an online gambling ban and is in league with Sheldon Adelson. While it is true that Rubio has called poker a “game of skill,” he’s never come out and said that he would go against Adelson and support a carve out for online poker.
The spin about Rubio discussing poker as a game of skill is an attempt to give iPoker supporters a glimmer of hope that RAWA won’t be used to ban the game. That’s just not happening.
New American Century. pic.twitter.com/hlkFIgJ9d4— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 18, 2016
Cruz – Will He Side With the Bible or the Constitution?
Ted Cruz is a bit of a wild card when it comes to this election. He is anti-establishment and has deep religious convictions. As such, his stance on online poker could leave him in a bit of a dilemma.
Many believe that online gambling is sinful and regardless of our arguments about online poker being a game of skill, it will be considered gambling for at least the foreseeable future. This could prompt Cruz to back away from any type of iGaming legislation.
If you are a conservative, this is where you belong because only one strong conservative is in a position to win this race.— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 21, 2016
With that said, Cruz is anti-establishment and is a big supporter of state’s rights. His desire to fix Washington could override any moral objections and allow him to side with states regarding online poker.
If Cruz can be properly educated about the benefits of online gambling and the benefits to the American public, especially in job creation, he could prove to be a major ally in regulating online poker in the United States.
Sanders – Supported UIGEA in 2006 and Voted for Complete iGaming Ban
Bernie Sanders has said in the past that he hasn’t given a lot of thought about regulating online poker. While that’s his claim, his voting record suggests otherwise. He supported the UIGEA in 2006. As a member of the House of Representatives, Sanders voted in favor of HR 4411.
He also voted in favor of H Amdt 1179, an amendment to HR 4411. The purpose of the amendment was as follows:
“An amendment printed in House Report 109-551 to eliminate the exceptions to the bills general prohibition against online gambling, thereby establishing a complete ban on all internet gambling-related activities.”
Fortunately, that amendment failed miserably.
Sanders spoke about online poker regulation at an Iowa town hall meeting last year and said he hadn’t given much thought about it. He then stated that corporations shouldn’t take advantage of online poker players. That’s a nice talking point, but his voting history would indicate his lack of thought about online poker is based on a lack of interest.
When people stand together, and are prepared to fight back, there's nothing we can't accomplish. #AmericaTogether— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 19, 2016
Clinton – Support for a “Study” Hardly Indicates Support for Industry
In 2006, Hillary Clinton voted for the SAFE Port Act that included the UIGEA. Two years later, she suddenly supported a study on online gaming regulation. That support just happened to come out while she was trying running for the 2008 Democratic nomination. At the time, only Ron Paul on the Republican side had shown support for iPoker.
After that “show of support” and subsequent loss to Barack Obama for the nomination, she’s been silent on the issue. That makes one wonder whether she actually supports the industry or if it was a political chess move to garner support from voters.
“I’ve never believed in dividing America between ‘us’ and ‘them.’ We are all in this together. We all have to do our part.” —Hillary— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 20, 2016
It’s also a move I could see her making again. As such, at some point you can expect her to come out in support of online poker. Why not? It’s not like a federal solution is actually going to materialize. At best, it would serve as a block for RAWA, which is still a major win for online poker supporters.