Trump is estimated to be worth $3 to $10 billion, depending on who’s counting, and the New York businessman has largely self-funded his primary campaign. But now that he’s the presumptive GOP nominee for the 2016 presidential election, his costs are likely to rise exponentially, and he’s no longer averse to taking in donations.
Las Vegas Sands Chairman and billionaire Sheldon Adelson is backing GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump for this November’s presidential election against presumed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Perhaps the most pivotal Republican financier is Adelson, the Las Vegas Sands owner who is worth some $30 billion.
Adelson has no qualms about opening up his personal vault to fund conservative candidates, either. During the 2012 presidential cycle, Sheldon and his wife Miriam shelled out upwards of $100 million through personal donations and political action committees to GOP runners.
Late last week, Adelson lent his official support to Trump.
Speaking at a World Values Network event in New York City, a Jewish organization whose mission is to promote Jewish culture in politics and media, Adelson reportedly got behind the GOP nominee. According to The New York Times, the casino tycoon said of Trump, ‘I’m a Republican, he’s a Republican. He’s our nominee.’
Little Memory of Little Marco
Adelson has largely remained quiet throughout the primary process, a development that has surprised many in the political arena. Though he isn’t outspoken in the same way Trump has been and has no Twitter account, the 82-year-old lets his money do the talking.
Speculation varies as to why he’s been sitting on the sidelines as the 17 Republican Party candidates duked it out. One theory could that Sheldon preferred Florida Senator Marco Rubio, while Miriam wanted to support Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Pundits believed Rubio’s apparent willingness to be molded by donors found favorability in Sheldon’s eyes, not to mention the Floridian’s support of Adelson’s RAWA anti-online gambling measure.
Adelson is unequivocal when it comes to a potential president being pro-Israel. The Venetian and Palazzo owner wants his candidate to share in keeping the American ally and Middle East democracy safe.
While Trump danced around the issue at times and said he’d be ‘neutral’ on the Israel and Palestine conflict, Adelson says he now believes the GOP frontrunner would be ‘good for Israel’ should he become president.
A Billion Here and There
With this November’s election shaping up to be Trump versus Democrat Hillary Clinton, the political heavyweights are finally going public with their endorsements. Trump has a long road ahead in uniting the Republican Party, but he’s off to a strong start when it comes to the GOP’s long list of so-called ‘one percenters.’
Billionaire Carl Icahn has been friends with Trump for decades and has publicly expressed his support, and New York City grocery store owner John Catsimatidis has stated he believes Trump can get Republicans to rally around him.
The Donald has also made plenty of enemies along the way, of course. The Bush family says it will not support Trump, the Koch brothers are staying mum, and Paul Singer has donated to anti-Trump efforts.
But when it comes to the casino industry, the Republican bigwigs are betting on the favorite. In addition to Adelson and Icahn, Steve Wynn will vote Trump.
And love him or hate him, it’s also worth noting that Dan Bilzerian will likely occasionally use his Instagram account over the next seven months to push Trump support. In December, Bilzerian posted, ‘In an age of . . . political correctness, you have to respect the people who remain unfiltered @realDonaldTrump.’
It takes one to know one. Bilzerian has been noted as being somewhat unfiltered himself on an occasion or twenty.
TVG Makes Hash of Kentucky Derby
Nyquist wins Kentucky Derby, but it was more like Demolition Derby down at TVG. (Image: foxbusiness.com)
Betting handle on Saturday’s Kentucky Derby was the second highest in the race’s history. Some $192.6 million passed through the bookie’s hands, just short of the record set in 2015 when American Pharaoh took his first step on the road to Triple Crown glory.
But a significant portion of that money apparently failed to end up in the hands of US licensed betting site Television Gaming Network (TVG), which mysteriously flat-lined about an hour before the race began and stayed that way for its duration.
Yes, while eventual winner Nyquist was limbering up, or whatever it is horses do an hour before a race, thousands of the account-wagering site’s customers were excluded from participating in US horseracing’s biggest betting day of the year.
DDoS Not to Blame
It bore the hallmarks of a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS), in which cyber criminals overload a website’s bandwidth with traffic from multiple sources, rendering it temporarily non-operational in order to extort money.
Online gambling sites are prime targets, because criminals know they can target them during specific events, like the Kentucky Derby, when customer interaction is guaranteed to be high.
The truth, according to Betfair-operated TVG, is more prosaic, or so it claims. In a press release issued Monday, the company apologized to its customers and said that ‘human error’ was to blame for a system error that was introduced during at the final moment.
In short, someone blundered, big time.
‘At TVG, we know how important it is to provide a great experience to our wagering account holders, not only on the first Saturday in May, but every day,’ said the statement. ‘Today, plain and simple, we let many of you down, and we’re sorry.
‘We build our products to handle enormous amounts of volume and have committed significant time and resources to accommodate a growing customer base. This year in particular, we took unprecedented measures to ensure a great experience for our customers. Regretfully, due to human error, we introduced today’s problem during a final readiness check. This won’t happen again.’
Early figures suggest that betting revenue was down just one percent on last year, and without the TVG crash this year’s derby would have been a record breaker, although it did include one more race than in 2015.
TVG’s loss was Churchill Downs gain, however. The racetrack, which operates the TwinSpires.com betting site, said total handle was up 29 percent on last year, to $26.8 million, of which $16.6 million was taken through its online arm. That’s up 22 percent from online bets handled in 2015.
That means whoever spilt their Frappuccino on the server at TVG made a multi-million dollar mistake.
Amaya Online Poker Platform Full Tilt Reaches End of the Road on May 17
Full Tilt Poker, once a kingpin of the American online poker scene during the game’s Internet heyday, will soon be fading into history.
End of an era: the once-glorious Full Tilt Poker software client will be retired next week by owner Amaya when the platform’s traffic is officially merged with PokerStars. (Image: Fulltilt.com)
As of Tuesday, May 17, 2016, the Full Tilt poker platform will cease to exist, as site owner Amaya merges its traffic with PokerStars, and retires the controversial poker client for good.
News of the site migration and consolidation was confirmed in a press release this week by Michael Josem, head of public relations at PokerStars and Full Tilt.
‘In coming days, Full Tilt players will be emailed direct and personal information on how this will affect them specifically, which depends on a variety of factors including their jurisdiction and the status of their PokerStars account (if any),’ Josem said.
‘In many cases, Full Tilt players who already hold a PokerStars account will not need to update any information or transfer their account assets (loyalty points, cash balances etc) which will be transferred automatically to their PokerStars account and they can simply log in to their PokerStars account…’
End of an Era
While the Full Tilt brand will continue, it will operate merely as a skin of PokerStars. It’s an unremarkable end for a once-mighty and once uber-popular platform. It all came crashing to its knees after the financial mismanagement of its previous owners brought the DOJ to its virtual doors in 2011, which were then summarily slammed shut.
After that, the love affair soured as quickly as an acrimonious divorce.
Full Tilt was rescued from the ashes of Black Friday by the Rational Group in 2012. As part of the purchase deal, it was agreed that Rational would subsequently repay money owed by Full Tilt to its non-US customers.
It was all part of an attempt to curry favor with US authorities, as Rational sought to atone for its own violation of UIGEA. And it was also a savvy move, because the acquisition of Full Tilt meant that no competitor would ever get its hands on the software platform, which at the time, was widely considered the best.
Meanwhile, Rational acquired the massive and all-important email addresses of the site’s enormous (if then somewhat fired up) customer base.
You Can’t Go Home Again
Initially, Rational relaunched Full Tilt in a similar vein as before, as the ‘home of high-stakes,’ with sponsored pros Gus Hansen and Tom Dwan offering continuity with its previous incarnation. But the site never quite recovered from its withdrawal from the tainted US market and its scarred image after poker’s Black Friday.
And when Amaya acquired the Rational Group’s assets in 2014, the brand was low on its list of priorities. As the once-popular site’s traffic dwindled, so did its importance in the eyes of the new Canadian owners. Any attempts to revive the fortunes of this former nosebleed battleground by reinventing it as a site for recreational players failed to make much impact.
Rafi Ashkenazi, chief executive of PokerStars and Full Tilt, said in February that the merging of traffic would make the company ‘more nimble,’ allowing for it to focus technology on one platform as opposed to two. He said that would help it ‘innovate more quickly and enter newly regulating and existing markets swiftly.’
There are also expected to be job losses at the company’s Dublin, Ireland headquarters.
Meanwhile, now five years past Black Friday, some of the mess created by the original Full Tilt still lingers. The Garden City Group (GCC), the financial claims administrator charged by the Department of Justice with overseeing the repayment process to Full Tilt’s American victims, said this week that 1,500 claims, or around half of those yet to be processed, have been denied.
These claims are believed to relate to affiliates of Full Tilt, as well as those who dispute the balance accepted by GCG. Those in the group whose claims have been denied have just ten days to file an appeal, the account administrator said.
Bernie Sanders Goes After Casino Industry and Donald Trump While Campaigning in Atlantic City
Warranted or not, Bernie Sanders took swings at Donald Trump and Carl Icahn on Monday for leading Atlantic City into destitute times. (Image: Jewel Samad/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (D) paid a visit to Atlantic City on Monday while campaigning in New Jersey, and the Vermont senator had few good things to say about the seaside town.
Speaking at Boardwalk Hall, Sanders told his supporters that Atlantic City is the epitome of American greed.
‘What we’re seeing in Atlantic City, New Jersey, capsulizes the ugliness and the greed that we’re seeing all over this country,’ Sanders declared.
Sanders unsurprisingly went after the presumptive Republican Party nominee Donald Trump for his casino businesses. The billionaire operated as many as four resorts from 1984 through 2009 before filing for bankruptcy and abandoning the gambling mecca.
‘The greed and the recklessness that we have seen from people like Donald Trump and Carl Icahn, oh you know Donald Trump? You don’t think he was a brilliant successful businessman who can bring the time of prosperity to America that he has brought here to Atlantic City?’ Sanders posed to a roomful of boos.
Sanders is facing a monumental uphill battle against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. The former first lady and secretary of state has a substantial lead in the delegate count and is the heavy favorite to win the party’s nomination.
On Monday night, Sanders reconfirmed to Stephen Colbert that he has no plans to exit the race anytime soon. ‘At the end of the day, I hope and believe we’re going to win this,’ Sanders said.