Manatt Partner Comments on How U.S. Presidential Race Could Affect Gambling Industry

Manatt Partner Comments on How U.S. Presidential Race Could Affect Gambling Industry

"Maryland Casino, Internet Poker at Stake on Election Day"
Gambling Compliance

November 6, 2012 - Manatt's June DeHart, a partner in the firm's Government & Regulatory Division, spoke to Gambling Compliance about how the 2012 U.S. presidential election will affect the gambling industry. 

Gambling Compliance reports that President Obama appears to have more support among gambling insiders than Republican nominee Mitt Romney, primarily because of the U.S. Department of Justice opinion released last December that authorizes states to regulate almost all forms of online gambling, excluding sports betting. Some industry insiders think that Romney's conservatism may not be good for the future of the industry. 

However, DeHart told the publication that she thinks Romney may be more sympathetic to the gambling industry than many may think. 

"He is a businessman," said DeHart. "He may take a pragmatic approach on gaming when considering revenue generation, employment and other attributes of the business. But it won't be a priority." 

It's difficult to predict if Romney would veto or sign any bills on the matter. During his time as governor of Massachusetts, Romney's voting on gambling was mixed. But if Romney is elected and Democrats maintain their majority in the Senate, there is a chance that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada may push for an online poker bill. 

DeHart said that even if Democrats lose the Senate majority, Reid may still persevere to pass an Internet poker bill during the lame duck session on Congress after the election.

"Majority Leader Reid has more opportunity controlling the agenda in the lame-duck session than in the next Congress if Democrats were to lose the majority," DeHart said. 

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