Hillary Clinton’sÂ announcement that she will be making a second run for the White House has put an end to two years of speculation and denial.
But it still leaves us here at PokerSites.com wondering whether a Clinton administration would be good or bad for America’s fledgling online poker industry.
So, while Hillary heads off across America on a 1,000-mile electioneering road trip in a van called “Scooby,” we decided to weigh the evidence, which, even thoughÂ minimal, is broadly positive.
Hillary Clinton, in 2006, voted in favor of the SAFE Port Act, the anti-terrorism bill that had the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIEGA) tagged onto the back of it.
However, Clinton is unlikely to be a supporter of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), and is certainly no fan of Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.
In 2008 she expressed her supportÂ for a study on the potential of legalizing online gaming and whether it could be regulated in a way that would boost economic opportunity for US businesses while, effectively protecting minors and the vulnerable.
That same year, as she stood against Barack Obama in the Democratic runoff, the Clinton camp sought to dispel Obama’s reservations about the use of gambling expansion as an economic development tool.Â
“What we have found in every instance, when you create an economic engine that drives job creation, encourages capital investment…you have an industry that builds community…and provides livelihood,”said then Harrah’s Entertainment executive Jan Jones, a former Las Vegas mayor and co-chair of the Clinton campaign’s National Women’s Business Council.
Meanwhile, Clinton has supported the expansion of land-based casino gaming in the Catskills and Niagara regions, in contrast to Obama, who around the same time was decrying the “moral and social cost of gambling.”
So it appears that Clinton has at least an open mind about gambling.
It’s clear, however, that Marco Rubio, who announced his own bid today, does not.
The junior Senator for Florida is steadfastly opposed to the expansion of gambling currently being debated in his native state, and has said he is “no big fan of expanding gaming on the Internet, especially for revenue purposes.” Rubio lacks support, however, and is a big longshot to make it to the White House.
In fact, thus far, the only presidential hopeful to show explicit support for online poker is Rand Paul.
The Kentucky senator echoed the sentiments his father, Ron Paul, when responding to a question about his feelings on RAWA.
“I’m opposed to restrictions on online gambling. The government needs to stay out of that business.”