IAG JULY 2016 web - page 7

Cover Story
What’shappening is that large swathsof theAmericanelectorate
are in open revolt against aWashington political establishment they
perceive as self-serving, irredeemably corrupt and hopelessly out of
touch with their needs and values. It’s the howling of a wind that’s
sweeping through every corner of the globe, stoked indifferent ways
and in varying degrees by economic stagnation, income inequality,
immigration, terrorism, political destabilization, refugee crises and
the breakneck pace of technological change. Broadly speaking – a
sense of disempowerment centered on a belief that control of one’s
lifeanddestinyhasbeenceded to inscrutable forces rigged tobenefit
elites. Thereare certainparallels in theUmbrellaMovement inHong
Kong, in Taiwan with the triumph of the pro-independence party in
national electionsearlier this year, and in the riseof abuddingstrong
man in the Philippineswho promises likeDonald Trump to heed no
one andoffend just about everyone.
MrTrumphasbeenparticularlyadeptatplaying to the fearsof the
great again” – echoes of whichwere heard in the UK Independence
Party’s successful Brexit campaign and in the strident nationalism
that’s on the ascent across Europe. Former Alaska Governor and
Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, the darling of the
anti-government Tea Party movement of the last decade, trotted it
out in her opening for Mr Trump at a recent conservative political
rally: “We’re going to take our country back,” she cried, “and either
you’rewithus or against us!”
As veteranonline gaming consultant and broker Sue Schneider sees
it, “All bets are off. This ‘throw the bums out’ change for change’s
sake, this is all new. There are no predictions. You just have to sit
back andwatch and seehow it plays out.”
Which is pretty much what the gaming industry is doing if
presidential campaign contributions are any indication. To date,
the industry has spread slightly more than US$500,000 across the
entire field of candidates, according to the latest Federal Election
Commission figures compiled by the Washington DC-based Center
for ResponsivePolitics – apittance compared to the tens ofmillions
banks and hedge funds, insurance and pharmaceutical and health
care companies funnel to their choices.
The split between Republicans and Democrats has slightly
favored the former, 55% to 45%. But Democrat Hillary Clinton has
been the industry’s top recipient at US$164,337. Surprisingly, Bernie
Sanders ranks fourth, only US$200 behind former FloridaGovernor
Jeb Bush, the son of a president, brother of a president and the
Republican who was supposed to take his party’s nomination in a
cake walk. Actually, the Republican the industry clearly favored was
OhioGovernor John Kasich, a reliably conservative career politician
who served 18 years in the USHouse of Representatives and was a
commentator for RupertMurdoch’s
. As forMr Trump, the
presumptive Republican nominee heading into the party’s national
convention later thismonthhas received all of US$4,561.
Excepting Sheldon Adelson and probably SteveWynn, “I do not
expect most of the rest of the gaming industry to be strongly for
Trump–unless it looks likehe’sgoing towin,” saysProfessorGreen.
The problem, says Andrew Klebanow – a long-time industry
marketeer and founder of gaming consultancy Global Market
Advisors – is that, “You just can’t predict what his presidency will
look like.”
Gaming, like most corporate communities, tends to tilt
Republican, but as Professor Green points out, “This is an
unusual election.
“TheRepublicanParty in the lasthalf-centuryhashad this internal
conflict between the evangelical [Christian] side and the libertarian
“TheRepublicanParty in the last
half-centuryhashad this internal
conflictbetween theevangelical
[Christian] sideand the libertarian
side…andgaming industry leaders
historicallyhavewanted the
libertarian side towinout.”
Federal ElectionCommission data, compiled by theCenter
for Responsive Politics
Jill Stein
| Repubicans
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