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Trump, O’Malley, Barton Clash Over Online Gambling Issue

4 November 2011 by admin

The Apprentice Season 3We probably write about Donald Trump way too often here on OCS, but he is very talented at inserting himself into the news. Lately he has made it known that he wants to invest in the online gambling industry. As we reported earlier, Trump Entertainment is taking part in a joint venture to create an online gambling site with the Trump name to take advantage of regulation when it happens. That puts him at odds with some, though.

There are many attempts to regulate online gambling in one form of another in the United States, some at the state level and some at the local level, some just on poker, and some on all gaming. Trump supports the bill by Texas Republican Representative Joe Barton, which would regulate all online gambling at the federal level. Trump is lobbying hard for the bill’s passage. Ivanka Trump, executive vice president of Trump Entertainment, says that “it would be a tremendous source of taxable revenue for states or the federal government and an enormous generator of jobs.”

Others aren’t so sure. Maryland Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley sent a letter to the House of Representatives, urging them to vote against Barton’s bill, saying that it would hurt the states. O’Malley says that in Maryland, federalized online gambling could cost the state “the $519 million annually we generate from our state lottery – our state’s fourth largest source of revenue – and jeopardize the jobs and survival of lottery retailers, many of which are small businesses.”

Many other state governors and lawmakers share O’Malley’s concerns. For the states to not be hurt by the federal regulation, the legislation needs to be written in such a way that the states can get a cut of the proceeds. Trump disagrees, saying that federal regulation would be beneficial nationally and at the state level. Trump has a lot of influence in Washington (look at how he has abused eminent domain to build his empire), so it will be interesting to see which side wins the debate.

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