Time Stamp: December 29, 2023, 12:54h.
Last updated on: December 29, 2023, 12:54h.
Phil Ruffin becomes the first Las Vegas casino billionaire to offer support to Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential bid.
Ruffin is a 50% stakeholder in Trump International Las Vegas and also owns Treasure Island and Circus Circus on the Strip. The 88-year-old has been a long-standing friend of the former president, himself a billionaire and former owner of casinos in Atlantic City and Indiana.
During each of his three presidential runs since 2016, Trump has relied heavily on support from Las Vegas casino tycoons. One of the most notable is Dr. Miriam Adelson, the widow of Sheldon Adelson, who has provided strong financial backing to Republican candidates.
While Dr. Adelson is waiting to provide direct support until the GOP ticket is determined, Ruffin is already placing a significant bet on Trump once again.
Ruffin’s campaign money allocated to Trump for 2024 nearly doubles the amount of support he lent his friend for the 2020 election when Trump was defeated by Joe Biden.
$2M to Trump PAC
Recent campaign contribution reports from the Federal Election Commission reveal that Ruffin, worth an estimated $2.7 billion by Forbes, contributed $1 million to Make America Great Again Inc. in April, and an additional $1 million to the political action committee (PAC) in June.
Make American Great Again Inc., or MAGA Inc., is Trump’s primary super PAC supporting his 2024 run. The committee has the ability to raise and spend an unlimited amount of money on Trump’s White House bid.
Political pundits say Trump may require a much larger campaign bankroll in 2024 to defend against indictments and to remain on state ballots.
With just 311 days remaining until the November 2024 presidential election, political bettors on PredictIt have Trump as the odds-on front-runner.
The peer-to-peer wagering exchange has Trump’s shares of winning the Nov. 5 election trading at 40 cents. Biden is second at 38 cents.
Nikki Haley, the 29th US ambassador to the United Nations and former governor of South Carolina, is trading at 12 cents. Haley last month secured the financial backing of the Koch network, valued at approximately $120 billion.
No sportsbook in the US is legally permitted to take traditional bets on political outcomes. But bookmakers overseas have long done so.
At William Hill in the UK, Trump is the 2024 favorite at +120. Biden is at +200, and Haley is at +600. Other candidates are also listed with their respective odds.