Donald Trump has a new friend in the form of billionaire Republican Party supporter and online poker hater, Sheldon Adelson.
Although Adelson has been reluctant to show his support for Trump until now, the withdrawal of his final Republican Party rival, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, has left him without another horse to back in the presidential race.
Talking to an audience at a gala dinner for the World Values Organization, Adelson stated that he would support whoever the electorate deemed the best candidate to challenge for the top job at the White House.
“He’s our nominee. Whoever the nominee would turn out to be, any one of the 17 — he was one of the 17. He won fair and square,” said Adelson.
Although Adelson’s support seems to be more a result of necessity than choice, the backing of the billionaire could help Trump secure some vital votes in the presidential election.
One potential problem for online poker players in the US if Trump does become president with the help of Adelson is his well-known dislike of the iGaming industry.
A primary figure behind the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), Adelson has spent hundreds of hours and millions of dollars to lobby for an outright ban of online poker.
In contrast to Adelson’s views, Trump has previously been sympathetic towards the online poker industry.
Back in 2011, he stated that he would be in favor of regulating online poker if for no other reason than the rest of the western world is doing it.
“[Online poker] has to happen because many other countries are doing it and like usual the U.S. is just missing out,” said Trump.
Since that time Trump hasn’t gone into any further detail on his thoughts about iGaming, but he has publically said that he isn’t willing to be swayed on policies by outside forces.
In fact, he previously called Marco Rubio, Adelson’s “perfect little puppet” and, as yet, Trump hasn’t received any significant donations from his fellow billionaire.
Although Trump likely wouldn’t refuse a chunk of change from Adelson (who donated $150 million during the Republican Party’s 2012 campaign), it’s unlikely a donation will soften his resolve.
Being a billionaire himself, Trump is capable of funding his own campaign as he is confident in his own ability to win, so a few million dollars from Adelson probably won’t buy him any favors.
Of course, stranger things have happened in the past and if Donald Trump does become one of the most unlikely presidents in history, the two billionaires may form an alliance that could spell disaster for online poker in the US.
However, if we were betting we wouldn’t put our bankrolls on a partnership forming any-time soon.