What Could Sheldon Adelson And Donald Trump Talk About?

Las Vegas Sands Corp. LVS shares jumped 1.5 percent Thursday after the Washington Post reported President Trump will be having dinner with Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Adelson was a major contributor to Trump’s campaign. Adelson and his wife donated a total of at least $21.2 million to Trump’s cause and are close personal friends with the president.

While much of the meeting will likely take a personal tone, there are a number of business issues Adelson could raise as well. Most of the big players in the U.S. casino industry, including Sands, Wynn Resorts, Limited WYNN and MGM Resorts International MGM, have been focusing on Asia in recent years. but that doesn’t mean there aren’t important developments going on here in the U.S.

Here’s a brief overview of some of the business topics that Trump and Adelson could cover:

  • Congress is reportedly in the process of reviewing sports gambling laws. This topic would be the most likely issue for Trump and Adelson to discuss.
  • The relatively new realm of eSports gambling could also be a topic of discussion. Seattle-based Unikrn is an eSports betting platform, but it's currently illegal for Americans to place bets using Unikrn. The company only accepts real-money wagers from foreign users.
  • The rise of daily fantasy sports (DFS) has siphoned off potential casino business in recent years. Trump could theoretically crack down with heightened federal regulations on DFS or he could even push to classify the games as illegal on a federal level.
  • Online/mobile gaming was banned in the U.S. in 2006, but certain states, such as New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, have since begun allowing Internet gambling within state lines. Adelson and Trump should discuss new legislation/regulations on online gambling.
  • At the close of President Obama’s term, Las Vegas Sands agreed to a nearly $7 million settlement related to a five-year Justice Department probe into the company’s potentially corrupt relationship with Chinese consultants. Trump’s administration may not be as vigilant in keeping casino companies in check.

Trump’s business venture into the casino industry hasn’t gone quite as well as Adelson’s has. While Adelson has amassed a personal fortune of nearly $30 billion, Trump’s casino businesses accounted for five of the six bankruptcies his companies filed under his leadership.

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