Does the U.S. Presidential Election affect poker? A discussion on The Orbit

Poker writer Geoff Fisk profile photo
Geoff Fisk
Posted on: November 03, 2020 13:10 PST

The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election finally plays out tonight, although it could be weeks before an actual winner is determined. Does the future of the poker industry look different under Donald Trump than it would in a Joe Biden presidency?

Episode 5 of The Orbit discusses that topic, with a roundtable of some of poker's most influential figures joining host Robbie Strazynski for the latest episode in the series. Each episode of The Orbit features Starzynski, the founder of the Cardplayer Lifestyle Poker Blog, moderating an in-depth discussion on multiple hot topics in the poker industry.

The latest episode premiered Monday, with guests including Toby Bentall, Tony G, Kristen Bicknell, and Adam Pilska. In the final topic on Episode 5, Strazynski posed the question: does the U.S. election matter to poker?

The answers from the panel included the following:

Toby Bentall (CEO of Oddschecker Media, parent company to PokerNews)

"I think it doesn't matter," said Toby Bentall, CEO of sports betting industry platform Oddschecker Media, which functions as the parent company to PokerNews. "I'm thinking in mainly online. I don't think it matters."

"I'm thinking the key to online poker being ubiquitous across the U.S. is the success of online sports betting. That's the key, the president won't matter."

Tony G (PokerNews founder, high-stakes poker icon, former European Parliament member)

"I think Biden is better," Tony G said. "I've actually bet a lot of money on Biden, so hopefully it goes alright."

"From what I understand, in the market a little bit, I think Biden is better. Just because Sheldon (Adelson) is in back of Trump. So he will always want to stop online poker. That's one connection that's not healthy."

"Poker players should probably hope for Biden. Although it's not a lot better, it's probably a little bit better."

Kristen Bicknell (partypoker Ambassador, top-rated tournament player)

"I have no clue," Bicknell said with a laugh. "I would say Tony's the expert, he knows a lot more. Politics is not my favorite area, I can tell you that."

Adam Pliska (World Poker Tour President)

"I'm going to say this as a lawyer, and as somebody who's lobbied Congress before," Pliska said. "I just don't think it matters as much as people ever think that it does."

"At the end of the day, it becomes a state issue. Not just a state issue; it's state and regulatory. And how quick and how efficient that they can make those markets will determine how much enthusiasm and support."

"If people can find a way on a state and regulatory level, for companies to make enough money that they can also feel like there's benefits going all around, there will be the will to push it and give it the winds that it needs."

Other Ep. 5 topics

The U.S. Presidential discussion concludes an episode that ranges across multiple pertinent poker topics. The discussion also includes topics like the consolidation of poker brands, communication between operators and players, the role of High Roller tournaments in the poker industry, and an outlook for live poker in 2021.

The new and previous episodes of The Orbit can be found on the Twitch Poker channel, as well as the Cardplayer Lifestyle YouTube channel.

Featured image source: YouTube