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Trump Speaks in Favor of Online Gambling

24 October 2011 by admin

The Apprentice Season 3As reported last week on OCS, Trump Entertainment is close to inking a deal for a joint venture with Avenue Capital Group to offer online gambling in the U.S. once the industry is regulated. Donald Trump is now publicly speaking about the venture and about the future of the industry.

Like many in the gambling industry, Trump sees that a lot of money that American residents are gambling is being spent at overseas online casinos, meaning American businesses don’t get the money and the government doesn’t get the tax revenue. Trump wants to tap into the market and plans to offer an online casino as soon as Congress passes legislation to regulate the industry.

“It should be approved here,” Trump said on Thursday, speaking with the Associated Press. “An awful lot of money is leaving the U.S. that should and could stay in this country.”

Like many, Trump thinks that the biggest obstacle facing companies that want to get a start in the American market is developing brand recognition. Unlike brick and mortar casinos and other American businesses, most online casinos are not known by the general public. The key, Trump says, is to have the best brand in the online gambling market. Not surprisingly, he thinks he has the best brand: himself.

“We think we have the hottest brand there is, the Trump brand, my personal brand,” Trump said. “We think it’s going to do phenomenally well.”

Robert Griffin, the CEO of Trump Entertainment, said that the stakes are high. He thinks the industry will eventually be regulated, but believes that millions of Americans are currently playing at unsafe online casinos. “Currently, millions of Americans engage in online gaming with illegal offshore operators, and do so with no oversight, no regulation or no consumer protections.”

Of course, that’s not accurate. There were actually four incorrect statements (out of four) in that sentence. First, playing at offshore online casinos is not illegal in the United States unless your particular state, such as Washington, bans it. There is no federal law banning online gambling, aside from sports betting. Mr. Griffin should also be aware that there is oversight, regulation and consumer protections at online casinos; it is just not done by the U.S. federal government. Instead, the oversight, regulation and protections are done by foreign governments (such as Curacao and Gibraltar), private regulatory agencies (such as eCOGRA), and private software testing agencies (such as TST).

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