Donald Trump coy on US sports betting review

Donald Trump coy on US sports betting review

Monday, February 13, 2017
Still hopes for presidential intervention

Speaking ahead of last Sunday’s Super Bowl LI final between the New England Patriots vs the Atlanta Falcons, President Donald Trump stated that his administration would consider ‘addressing the issue’ of legalising sports betting for the USA.

However Trump, like former US leaders, remains noncommittal on the subject matter, stating that he was willing to speak to US Pro league commissioners on sports betting, but would not personally drive an agenda for change.

Asked by US broadcaster Jim Gray (Westwood One Radio) on the fiscal benefits of legalised sports betting, Trump stated that the matter would have to be reviewed carefully by his administration and all concerned stakeholders (leagues, owners, commissioners, lawmakers and the police).

Should any national review of sports betting be undertaken by the Trump administration, the US President stated that it would not be undertaken ‘lightly’.

“Well, what I’d do is I’d sit down with the commissioners. I would be talking to them, and we’ll see how they feel about it. Some would not want it, and probably others — and I’ve read others maybe do. But I would certainly want to get their input and get the input from the various leagues, and we’ll see how they feel about it. I’d also get the input from lots of law enforcement officials, because, obviously, that’s a big step,” Trump stated.

Following Trump’s November 2016 US Election victory, Geoff Freeman the President & CEO of the American Gaming Association had requested the incoming administration to review the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) which has outlawed sports betting in the majority of US states.

In his request, Freeman and AGA argue that failed PASPA provisions have criminalised the American consumer creating a $150 billion a year underground market. Freeman further detailed to industry media that the Trump administration represented the best chance for legalised US sports betting in a number of years. 

Totally Gaming says: Industry stakeholders will likely have to wait on Trump's true position with regards to legalised sports betting. The Trump administration has faced a chaotic opening month with regards to a number of the administration's appointments and Trump's early executive orders. At present, Trump's non-committal stance mirrors previous Presidential incumbents, who acknowledge the issue but will not drive any agenda.

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