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There were quite a few presidential candidates anti-online gambling, at the beginning of the presidential race in 2016, especially Republicans.

Roughly 33% of the candidates, both Republicans and Democrats, seemed to support a federal online gambling ban, although some candidates more than others.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) were for instance sponsors of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA).

Also while in office, former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and former Texas Governor Rick Perry expressed their public support to the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA).

Former New York Governor George Pataki was another presidential candidate in favour of online gaming ban. Pakati was former Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling co-chair, a coalition that lobbies for the federal online gaming ban to pass.

Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, ultra conservative candidates, are most likely also in favour of the online gaming ban.

In addition, candidate Jeb Bush showed his opposition to online gambling when he was Governor of Florida.

Fortunately, only one of the anti-online gambling candidates remains on the run to presidency. Unfortunately, he is one of the GOP frontrunners.

Remaining Candidates

Bernie Sanders: when it comes to gambling Sanders doesn’t really make strong statements and it is debatable any opposition Sanders might have towards online gambling would extent to a federal issue.

Hillary Clinton: the candidate has never voiced an opinion regarding online gambling, like Sanders, it seems Hillary doesn’t think gambling is a federal issue. For both candidates it seems to be a non-pressing issue, and they probably haven’t given it much thought.

John Kasich: much like the Democratic candidates Kasich seems to be indifferent to gambling at the federal level. Kasich is a long shot candidate; he probably won’t secure the Republican nomination.

Ben Carson: also a long shot candidate, Carson has a state’s rights philosophy and would probably be against a federal intervention on an issue like this. Carson’s opinion of this matter is probably meaningless, as he is the least likely candidate to secure the nomination.

Donal Trump: it seems unlikely Trump would be against online gambling. He probably won’t even entertain the idea of a ban. The candidate is not beholden to any billionaire donor lobbying for a gambling ban either. Even though he has not addressed this issue openly, he might be the only pro-gambling candidate still in the race.

Ted Cruz: Cruz has never being too hypocritical regarding his “small federal government” philosophy, to maintain his Tea Party bona fides. Based on this philosophy he would probably veto any such legislation landing when it comes to online gambling.

And then the anti-online gambling candidate…

Marco Rubio: if this candidate manages to secure the nomination, he will probably push for an online gambling ban.

Some of the reasons why:

  1. The candidate is known to be anti-gambling, he always has a harsh word about it
  2. Rubio co-sponsored the RAWA 2015 along with Graham
  3. If he can prove that he can secure the nomination, he will most probably be Sheldon Adelson’s candidate

It could be very bad for online gambling in the U.S., If Marco Rubio continues to gain momentum and win the nomination.