Gaming Industry Impacts Views of Presidential Candidates

Gaming Industry Impacts Views of Presidential Candidates – 123 Bingo OnlineGaming and wagering are issues that voters in many states across the country are looking at closely as they assess the candidates for the 2016 presidential election. Voters are particularly interested in how these candidates feel about pari-mutuel betting, bingo games, and casino gambling.

Geoff Freeman, president of the American Gaming Association, recently sent a letter to candidates urging them to recognize the contributions that gaming makes in Nevada and other states where gaming is legal. He urged them to consult people who understand online bingo, horse track betting and casino wagering, and to make campaign appearances at gaming facilities.

Freeman pointed out that as candidates travel to key presidential states, they “will quickly realize that gaming is no longer a niche, novel industry, but a nationwide, quarter-of-a-trillion-dollar industry that is supporting more than half a million jobs in the key states of Iowa, Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.”

Freeman ended his letter by telling the candidates that the American Gaming Association plans to create a voter guide for casino employees outlining the support or opposition to gaming by each of the presidential candidates.

Here is brief snapshot of the leading presidential contenders and their views on topics ranging from state gaming referendums to bingo mania to the economic impact of casinos:

Jeb Bush (Republican): A former governor of Florida, he has opposed expanding gaming in the state. He fought a proposal to add slot machines in Miami-Dade County in 2005. No Casinos, a group that opposing gaming expansion in Florida, lists Bush as a member of its statesmen’s council.

Hilary Clinton (Democrat): While First Lady of Arkansas in 1984, she opposed bringing casinos to that state, but when serving as U.S. Senator from New York in 2000 she supported casino development plans there. One of her campaign stops in Nevada included a meeting of a casino workers union in Las Vegas.

Ted Cruz (Republican): Comments from the Texas senator on gambling have been targeted mostly to gambling legislation supported by Sen. Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, when Reid was Senate majority leader. He was opposed to Brands USA, a public-private partnership that would have attracted casino patrons to Las Vegas. But Cruz has also been seeking the support of Sheldon Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands casino, who opposes online gaming.

Mike Huckabee (Republican): The former Arkansas governor has said Internet gambling sites prey on kids with smart phones and tablets. He said elected officials who don’t support a ban on online gaming should be voted out of office.

Rick Perry (Republican): The former Texas governor is opposed to online gaming. But he has also received support from Adelson of Las Vegas Sands in addition to Lorenzo and Frank Feritta III of Station Casinos, a company that operates 20 casinos in Nevada and California.

Marco Rubio (Republican): The Florida Senator supported a bill in the Senate that would ban Internet gambling. Rubio has been opposed to gambling since he began his political career in the Florida legislature. Political followers have indicated Rubio is also seeking Adelson’s support.

Bernie Sanders (Democrat): He has made few comments about gambling one way or another, but he did criticize Adelson while speaking at a rally attended by 700 people at Treasure Island hotel and casino in Las Vegas.

Rick Santorum (Pennsylvania): He has gone on record as an opponent of online gaming, basing his stance on moral grounds. He has also spoken out against expansion of casinos beyond Las Vegas and Atlantic City, N.J.