Indian Tribes Hoping Trump Admin will be Casino-Friendly

by Kyle Miller

Donald TrumpAs Donald Trump prepares to take over as the new president of the United States, Indian tribes are hoping the administration will be casino-friendly.

As 2017 signifies a New Year, the first month marks the inauguration of Donald Trump to the position of the United States. The campaign for presidency between Trump and Hillary Clinton has been a tumultuous one with many feeling that Clinton would become the first woman president. As soon as Trump was announced the winner, protests ran rampant with individuals unhappy with the outcome of the election. Issues have already arose, from accusations of hacking by the Russian government involved in the election to Trump continually making comments that should probably be avoided. For gaming interests, all eyes are on the administration and if Trump will be friendly towards casinos and help the United States gaming industry grow.

US Tribes Hoping for the Best

As Donald Trump will soon be sworn in as the next President of the United States, tribes of the nation are hoping that he will be good for the people as well as the casino industry. The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians is one such tribe that is involved in casino gaming, being the owners of the Pechanga Resort and Casino located in California. Chairman of the Tribe, Mark Macarro, stated that as the Trump presidency begins, the tribe looks forward to engaging with the incoming administration about tribal issues in general, which would of course, include gaming.

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians is also involved in the gaming industry, being the owners of the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa. Robert Martin, the Tribal Chairman, stated that the tribes have been able to create a positive as well as strong relationship with the administration associated with President Barrack Obama. As Obama leaves office and Trump comes in, Martin is hoping that Trump will be a good thing for people and gaming operations as he is a former casino owner.

Martin stated that the tribe is hopeful that the positive relationship with the presidential administration will continue as the tribe works to improve education, develop the economy, infrastructure and job creation opportunities across Indian County.

Trump and His History in the Casino Industry

Trump has long been associated with the casino industry as he owned casinos in Atlantic City in the past as well as in Indiana. As of now, Trump no longer owns any brick and mortar casinos, with the venues either being sold or closed due to financial difficulties.

When he was involved in the casino industry, the new President had come against tribal casino operators back in the 90s. Trump was trying to fight off competition that the tribes would bring as he tried to protect the casinos he owned in Atlantic City. Trump would remain against the tribal casinos until early 2000 when he signed a partnership with Twentynine Palms Band of Mission Indians to rebrand Spotlight 29 casino as Trump 29. However, the partnership did not last and the tribe bought out Trump for $6 million.

American Gaming Association Hoping for Sports Betting via Trump Administration

As the tribes hope that Trump will be casino friendly, the American Gaming Association are hoping that sports betting will become readily available in the US. The AGA wants to see the administration of Trump overturn a federal ban that has been existence for 25 years in the US. The AGA has reportedly sent a memo to the transition team of Trump that outlines the priorities of the casino industry for 2017 and on. Among the priorities is that the United States legalizes sports betting.

Geoff Freeman, the head of American Gaming Association, has stated that the AGA is optimistic that states and tribes will soon be able to choose if they want to regulate sports betting in the same way that other casino gaming products are regulated.