When Donald Trump announced he planned to run for President of the United States, most people were just laughing at the prospect. After all, how can this egotistical billionaire who is best known for a reality TV show really stand a chance at becoming the leader of the most powerful nation on earth? Those laughs
When Donald Trump announced he planned to run for President of the United States, most people were just laughing at the prospect. After all, how can this egotistical billionaire who is best known for a reality TV show really stand a chance at becoming the leader of the most powerful nation on earth? Those laughs have now turned to concern and in some cases excitement because Trump is now well ahead in the opinion polls to become the next Republican candidate. Sure Trump has made many missteps, but it doesnâ€™t seem to have hurt him. But the question is can Trump actually win?
Probably not, but there is no question heâ€™d be great for gambling. Aside from the fact that he owns or has owned many casinos, Trump has indicated many times that he supports gambling. In fact Trumpâ€™s pro-gambling past has put him at the top of the â€œvote against listâ€ by the lobby group Stop Predatory Gambling whose stated aim is to stop people from gambling. Not surprisingly the group is made up predominantly of religious fanatics and those who have been affected by gambling. The group also opposes Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie, which it deems to both be pro-gambling.
Candidates they support are Jeb Bush and Mark Rubio who they classify as opposed to gambling even though it doesnâ€™t appear Bush ever made a statement on the subject. But I suppose since his brother was responsible for the passage of the UIGEA, the logic is that the anti-gambling philosophy must run in the whole family.
I decided to send an email to Donald Trump asking for an interview but received no response. I had hoped that Trump may have considered the interview given other candidates (albeit mostly also-rans) have talked with me in the past leading up to the elections but unfortunately that wasnâ€™t the case. But thatâ€™s no reason not to post a hypothetical interview. Having interviewed Wayne Allan Root when he ran for President as part of the Libertarian party and having researched Donald Trump quite well I believe the Donald would respond to my questions in a similar manner as the answers below.
As such, the following is how I believe an interview with Donald Trump would go should Trump ever be available. Note the responses in quotes are actual comments from Trump in the past.
HH â€“ Thank you for the interview Mr. Trump.
DT – Iâ€™m happy to talk with those beneath me if it benefits me. I donâ€™t know who you are but my staff sent me some of the interviews you conducted in the past with people like Alan Dershowitz so I assume you must be somewhat important in your field and thatâ€™s good enough for me.
HH – As a writer for a website devoted to gambling manners Iâ€™m going to keep my questions related to that area. You are clearly one of the biggest developers in the U.S. and much of that has been building casinos. From that one can assume you are pro-gambling. Can you tell me how you feel about gambling?
DT â€“ Life is a gamble. â€œEverything in life is luck.â€ Iâ€™ve said that many times. Itâ€™s human nature to want to capitalize off that luck and Iâ€™m glad Trump has provided Americans the opportunity to do so. The true success stories, the people who have succeeded the most are all gamblers.
HH â€“ Critics of gambling say that for every winner there are a lot of losers and we should be worried about those who have a gambling problem. Are you concerned about those who canâ€™t handle gambling and could lose their livelihood if left to their own vices?
DT â€“ I have no sympathy for anyone who canâ€™t handle gambling. I like winners. If they arenâ€™t winning then thatâ€™s too bad for them, but itâ€™s not my problem, itâ€™s not the casinoâ€™s problem, itâ€™s not the governmentâ€™s problem or the problem of other Americans. As I said before â€œPart of being a winner is knowing when enough is enough. Sometimes you have to give up the fight and walk away, and move on to something that’s more productive.â€ Itâ€™s the same like the booze addict who wants to shut down liquor stores and bars because he canâ€™t handle his liquor. Tough for him. You donâ€™t make rules for those who are at the bottom of the barrel, you make it for whatâ€™s best for the majority of citizens and gambling is good for the majority and of course for myself. Hereâ€™s a solution for them â€“ if you like to gamble and canâ€™t walk away . . . then get better at it.
HH â€“ The Trump Plaza hotel closed last year and the Taj Mahal had to declare bankruptcy in 2014, although it has since been bought by another investor. Many analysts have said that both hotels were victims of the decline in gambling, but also that the casinos were mismanaged and that you never tried to keep them competitive with the new rising casinos in Atlantic City. How do you respond to that?
DT â€“ I build the casinos, I donâ€™t run them but that aside it wasnâ€™t the decline in gambling or mismanagement that caused them to run into financial trouble. It was the Chinese.
HH â€“ I beg your pardon?
DT â€“ We all know that the Chinese are the biggest gamblers in the world, and the Jews and Italians also but casinos were banking on the Asian population to spend all the millions they bring over here at the casinos and for some reason they havenâ€™t done so as much lately. Thatâ€™s one of my biggest problem with the Chinese. They have all this money but they wonâ€™t invest it in the economy and thatâ€™s why we are struggling while they flourish. If they spent in U.S. casinos like they do in places like Hong Kong and Macau then the casinos would be profitable. Personally I think itâ€™s a conspiracy by the Chinese government to try and ruin the casino industry here so they ordered their citizens abroad not to gamble as much in American casinos.
HH– Umm ok.
DT â€“ And I think I saw a lot more Mexicans at the casinos as well. And Mexicans arenâ€™t good for the business because casino patrons see them and they run away because you never know what will happen next with a Mexican.
HH â€“ In 2011 you made it clear that you were all for online gambling. At the time most other casino operators seemed in favor of it as well but as you know Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn now oppose online gambling. In fact Adelson has even convinced Lindsay Graham to support a bill to bring back the Wire Act. What is your opinion on that?
DT â€“ Theyâ€™re hypocrites and traitors. They make money off gambling but they want to keep it offline because they donâ€™t want competitors to theyâ€™re casinos in Vegas or Macau. Who the hell do they think they are? Let me tell you something competition is good. If youâ€™re a good businessman like me then you will make money because youâ€™ll be better than the competition. Are their technology people so inept they canâ€™t build a casino website to compete with the great ones? Tough. And theyâ€™re traitors because unlike myself who put money into employing people in Atlantic City and at all my great Trump hotels in the United States they went to Macau and threw their money in over there. And Adelson even threw money into Singapore. If he likes it so much in Asia why doesnâ€™t he move there where they can kiss his old ass every day? And Steve Wynn was for online gambling but now heâ€™s against it? I donâ€™t like people who change their minds. It shows they are weak. He was right to support online gambling and now heâ€™s running because he knows he could never compete online with the great Trump-Taj-Mahal online gambling website.
HH â€“ Didnâ€™t the Trump Taj Mahal website in New Jersey close because it couldnâ€™t compete with the likes of Borgata and Harrahâ€™s?
DT â€“ Are you some kind of wise guy? I donâ€™t know anything about that but of course I donâ€™t have anything to do with the online casinos. But if a website with the great name Trump canâ€™t make it then I guarantee you the Wynn and Sands casinos would have done worse. Maybe thatâ€™s why they oppose it but it doesnâ€™t change the fact that they shouldnâ€™t be afraid to try and fail.
HH â€“ One last question Mr. Trump. Sports betting seems to be the topic du jour. The leagues have opposed sports betting for decades but the NBA now supports it and other leagues are becoming more neutral. PASPA, a 1992 law forbids sports betting in all but 4 states but some states like New Jersey want that overturned. And now with daily fantasy sports occurring legally in the U.S. every day most people will agree that legal sports betting is already here. What is your stance on sports betting?
DT â€“ I like sports. I like gambling. The two obviously go hand in hand. And like Iâ€™ve said before â€œMoney was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.â€ If everyone adopted that philosophy weâ€™d all be better off. I like Adam Silverâ€™s new stance on sports gambling. He realizes thereâ€™s a lot of money to be made for everyone including the leagues and players and as Iâ€™ve said before â€œif youâ€™re going to be thinking anyways, then think big.â€ And sports betting can be big. We also need it in New York and New Jersey to help our horse racing tracks and casinos.
HH â€“ What about those who would say that sports gambling leads to corruption and game fixing?
DT â€“ If youâ€™re a cheat, then youâ€™re a cheat. Gambling wonâ€™t make a difference. I donâ€™t like cheaters or dishonest people and if the leagues canâ€™t control their own players because theyâ€™re dishonest, then the heads of those leagues need to be thrown out because theyâ€™re incompetent themselves.
HH â€“ Thank you for the interview. Is there anything you would like to say in closing to readers of OSGA?
DT â€“ I donâ€™t know what the hell OSGA is but Iâ€™ll tell your readers this: As I said before â€œI don’t make deals for the money. I’ve got enough, much more than I’ll ever need. I do it, to do it.â€ So if I say Iâ€™m going to legalize online gambling federally, if I say Iâ€™m going to make gambling easier for Americans and if I say I will get sports betting legalized Iâ€™ll do it. When Iâ€™m president no one is going to oppose me because they know Iâ€™ll say â€œyouâ€™re fired!â€ So if you want more gambling in the U.S. then Iâ€™m your best choice for president. We will all win!!
HH â€“ Thanks and good luck.
This satirical, hypothetical interview between Hartley Henderson and Donald Trump is strictly for entertainment purposes. Any Presidential wagering based on this hypothetical interview is not advised.