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  • Writer's pictureSafe Online Gambling

Gambling from the White House

Updated: Feb 22

As the political season is heating up and President's Day is upon us, Safe Online Gaming has dug up a little information about the Leader of the Free World and their gambling exploits. Of course, we are not talking about Lincoln gambling with his life standing on the front lines during the Civil War. Nor are we discussing Reagan's Cold War standoff with Gorbachev. Even our first president, George Washington, took a gamble with the United State's future when he ordered his men not to shoot until they saw the whites of the Brits' eyes as he stood his ground on Bunker Hill. Today, we are celebrating the Presidents of the United States who love to play table or card games and win some real money.

Presidents who were known for Gambling
Presidential Gambling

The Dome Room at the top of Thomas Jefferson's house is the subject of some historical controversy. It's most commonly known as the Billiards Room, for the simple enough reason that, for most of the 18th century, it had a bunch of pool tables in it, but historians disagree on if it was originally built to conceal illegal billiards tables or if it was initially just an observatory or ballroom. No matter what, it's nice to see that Jefferson, one of our greatest Presidents is associated with gambling even though he probably disapproved.

Before he was the president and making appearances on all the hip comedy shows, Barack Obama was a freshman Illinois state senator and "kind of an egghead," lacking the political and business contacts needed to get things done in the notoriously cronyism world of Chicago politics. The solution? A poker game in the basement of freshman Senator Terry Link, where lobbyists, constituents, and politicians of both parties could all get to know each other. The game was referred to as "the Committee Meeting," which is a great name if you're trying to sound as much like a bunch of sketchy pinstripe-wearing Tammany Hall types as humanly possible. (Are you surprised?)

A fair amount of ink has been spilled about the connections between poker and politics, and how the skills required for the former are transferable to the latter. Writers and historians invariably point to the number of shrewd, effective 20th-century presidents who were also known to be excellent poker players, such as Roosevelt and Eisenhower, to support the idea. The argument can also be made in the other direction. Case in point: Ulysses S. Grant. Grant was known for making poor decisions as a President but also lost a lot while gambling at poker. (Robert E. Lee might disagree with that statement.)

Perhaps no U.S. president is more identified with poker than Harry S. Truman, not because he was especially good but just because he played a lot. It was his main form of relaxation, and while he usually played for low stakes, he was not above splurging on the very finest equipment — including a custom seven-handed table for his yacht and a set of chips inlaid with the Presidential seal. (Which begs the question, did he drop the bomb to cause a distraction over a losing hand?)

The President with the best gambling name is "Tricky Dick". It was fairly well known that Richard Nixon funded his first election campaign with poker winnings from his time in the Navy. Still, without further elaboration, I think the picture most people have of this happening is of Nixon quietly socking away a succession of winnings from friendly home games like barracks games and bunk games. Apparently, this isn't the half of it. According to this characteristically wacky article from Cracked, Nixon began his side career as an illegal gambling operator when he was merely in his teens, operating a shady wheel of fortune game at a carnival in Prescott, Arizona — which is most likely also where he learned to play poker. Later, as a Lieutenant Commander stationed in the Melanesian islands during World War II, Nixon built and operated an unlicensed casino bar called Nick's, where other members of the military could drop in for beer and high-stakes poker. It was here that "Iron Butt" — Nixon's real, actual nickname — would patiently fold hand after hand until he was in a position to extract large amounts of money from the other players. Nixon was so committed to his game that he once passed up an opportunity to meet celebrity aviator Charles Lindbergh, who was kind of a big deal at the time, to keep playing. Throughout the war, Nixon may have made about $10,000, which was a lot more money in the '40s than it is now. (Sure, you're not a crook!)

Even President Trump has his name on casinos, but of course, his famous casinos were built way before he became the nation's President. Being one of the most controversial and recent Presidents, we have decided not to say too much about him on this blog. Maybe if this time around, nobody produces illegal votes we might get more material to talk about on next year's blog. (Sorry, we couldn't resist.)

However, no matter what side of the aisle you are leaning on, all of these Presidents could have been way more productive while they occupied the White House if they spent time in an online casino. There are thousands of sites to play, but it is important to do your research when choosing an online gaming site. Sites like or and even have all of the thrills of being at a casino in a safe secure environment.  Players can have hours of fun and a chance to win real money.  Each of these casinos has an operator standing by assisting gamblers 24 hours 7 days a week. 


For those operators who need a safe online site who need to purchase credits; visit sites like or

In addition to having a great opportunity to win, you don't have to pay for that high-priced drink or shell out hundreds of dollars to take a flight. As always, be responsible, and set your limits. And if you think your vote matters, Go Vote.

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