News

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Rubio wants online gaming ban but is fine with just poker

December 1, 2015

By Howard Stutz

October 26, 2015

Florida Senator and Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio is co-sponsor of a Senate bill that would ban legalized online gambling.

But his position may not be absolute.

During a visit with the Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial board this month, Rubio hinted he could support language that would allow for Internet poker.

“On the issue of Internet 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 in response to a question from Review-Journal Senior Editorial Writer Glenn Cook. “So that’s the one area that distinguishes it a little bit.”

Alex Conant, communications director for Rubio’s presidential campaign, confirmed via email the senator’s stance on Internet poker.

However, Rubio’s opinion might not match that of the bill’s primary backers, including fellow GOP presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

“There is no carve-out from the bill’s sponsors,” said Las Vegas Sands Senior Vice President of Government Relations Andy Abboud. “There may be some varying opinions from the co-sponsors, but there really isn’t any push for it.”

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