Donald Trump was noncommittal on the subject of legalising US sports betting during an interview before Super Bowl 51, but he did say he would consider addressing the issue. Jim Gray on Westwood One radio, citing estimates from the American Gaming Association on illegal sports betting in the US, broached the subject with the new president.
“You know quite a bit, as a former casino owner, and you have a particular insight — today an estimated $5bn will be wagered, $4.8bn, unregulated and untaxed illegally,” Gray said. “What is your position and thoughts on making sports gambling legal nationwide?”
“Well, what I’d do is I’d sit down with the commissioners,” Trump replied. “I would be talking to them, and we’ll see how they feel about it. Some would not want it, and probably others — and I’ve read where others maybe do. But I would certainly want to get their input and get the input from the various leagues, and we’ll see how they feel about it.
“I’d also get the input from lots of law enforcement officials, because, obviously, that’s a big step. So we wouldn’t do it lightly, I can tell you. It will be studied very carefully. But I would want to have a lot of input from a lot of different people.”
As Trump suggested, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is in favour of federal oversight of sports betting, and in recent days MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has seemed to be heading in the same direction. The NFL and NCAA still seem adamantly opposed, while who would bet on the NHL – the other plaintiff in the New Jersey sports betting case.