Marco Rubio Plays Marco Polo With Online Poker, Speaker Ryan Hires Internet Gaming Adversary

Posted on October 30th, 2015 by Jon Pineda
Marco Rubio 2016 debate

With some saying he effectively ended Jeb Bush’s 2016 chances, Marco Rubio is now the preferred candidate among much of the Republican Party’s core base. (Image: Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) is inching his way up the polls of the 2016 Republican primary for the party’s presidential nomination, the Florida congressman receiving the boost thanks to a strong debate performance this week in Colorado.

That could be good news for the online gambling community as Rubio recently hinted that he might be in favor of legalizing Internet poker due to the elements of skill involved with the card game.

During an editorial board meeting with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Rubio suggested that the proposed anti-online gambling bill RAWA (Restoration of America’s Wire Act) might need to include a provision to allow poker.

“The only difference between the poker games and the others is that it involves an element of skill associated with and compared with just a slot machine online,” Rubio said as reported by LVRJ columnist Howard Stutz. “So that’s the one area that distinguishes it a little bit.”

Marco! Adelson!

It isn’t thought among political insiders that Rubio will expand on those views after this week’s third Republican debate in which the 2016 candidate shined.

Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson is extremely against states authorizing online gambling and said previously that he’ll spend “whatever it takes” to stop its expansion.

Adelson is known in the political arena as one of the GOP’s biggest campaign donors.

Through political action committees (PAC), Sheldon and wife Miriam donated upwards of $100 million during the last presidential election.

Following Rubio’s thwarting of personal attacks by Florida colleague and former Governor Jeb Bush relating to his campaigning over tending to his Senate obligations, Rubio has emerged as the frontrunner for Adelson’s campaign millions, so long as he’s willing to bend to the billionaire’s requests.

Rubio’s personal finances have come under question after the senator cashed out a retirement fund account early that cost him $24,000.

Though Donald Trump says he won’t accept any PAC money, calling the groups a “disaster” and “scam,” Rubio isn’t so fiscally fortunate.

“When someone supports me, they buy into my agenda,” Rubio said recently. “I’m not buying into theirs.”

Time shall tell how concrete Rubio is on that stance.

Ryan Appeases

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) assumed the speakership of the House of Representatives this week replacing Republican John Boehner (R-Ohio).

The nine-term representative has a chock full of issues facing his legislature. The political divide in the Republican-controlled Congress combatting a Democrat in the White House has led to stalemate and inactivity in Washington, DC.

Perhaps the easiest way to end that deadlock is to put a Republican into the presidency, one reason Ryan has hired David Hoppe as his chief of staff.

Hoppe has lobbied on behalf of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG), an organization with direct ties to Adelson.

A senior political advisor at Squire Patton Boggs, an esteemed legal law firm with locations spread across the world, Hoppe’s agency received $180,000 to petition on behalf of CSIG in 2015.

Regardless of who survives the crowded GOP field to take on the presumed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, one thing is for certain and that is the fact Sheldon Adelson’s influence will continue to be felt.

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