Trump is understood to have turned to several casino moguls to lead his inauguration committee after being voted in ahead of Hillary Clinton last week, with Steve Wynn of Wynn Resorts, gambling magnate Phil Ruffin, and Las Vegas Sands owners Sheldon and Miriam Adelson all reportedly brought in to help with the running of official events surrounding the start of his period in office.
Adelson was a major supporter of Trump’s campaign, reportedly donating at least $11.2 million, and is known to be a fierce opponent of online casinos. While Adelson’s involvement has fuelled speculation that Trump may take a similarly hard stance and push for changes in federal gambling laws, he has not yet given any indication as to what he might do.
AGA president and CEO Geoff Freeman is nevertheless looking forward to a bright future under Trump, saying his election marks ‘the dawning of a new era in congress’. In an official statement, he added: “The gaming industry is well positioned to thrive in this new environment because of the important steps we have taken over the last several years to unify around issues of common cause, work collaboratively with government officials and highlight our enormous local economic and social contributions to develop Congressional champions.”
Freeman also played down talk that stricter rules could be imposed under Trump’s regime, declaring that the gambling industry would be contending with ‘significantly more restrained federal agencies’ under the new administration than has been the case for the last eight years.
There is also speculation that Trump could legalise sports betting in America, having been quoted as saying in 2015 that he was ‘okay’ with it ‘because it’s happening anyways’. Having run a campaign based on changing the political landscape, it will be fascinating to see just what he has in store for the gambling industry and what could happen in the next few months and years.