Action’ Producer Bradley Jackson on the Odds of Texas Legalizing Sports GamblingCat:未分類
Last May, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the 1992 legislation that illegal sports gambling in the majority of states (Nevada appreciated an exclusion ). When that happened, the floodgates for legalized sports betting across the nation opened –Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island became the first to allow betting on the result of a game, but they’re not likely to be the final.
Texas-based documentary filmmaker and UT grad Bradley Jackson, who produced the surprise hit Dealt, about a blind San Antonio card shark, spent much of the past six months immersed in the world of sports betting for his followup to that undertaking. Reteaming with Dealt director Luke Korem and fellow manufacturer Russell Wayne Groves (in addition to showrunner David Assess ), Jackson produced the four-part Showtime documentary series Action, which tracked the winners and losers of this 2018-19 NFL season–not those on the area, but those at the casino, wagering a small fortune on the outcome of the games being played. Texas Monthly caught up with Jackson in advance of the series’ final episode to chat about sports betting, daily dream, and what the chances are that Texas enables fans to place a wager on game day in the upcoming few decades.
Texas Monthly: What did you learn from this job?
Bradley Jackson: How large a business this is. I meanyou see the amounts and they’re just astronomical. In the opening sentence of the series, when we’re showing all these individuals gambling on the Super Bowl, which just on the Super Bowl alone, I think it’s like six billion bucks. But then the caveat to this stat is that just 3% of that is legal wagering. Meaning 97 percent of all action wagered on the Super Bowl is illegal. That amount from Super Bowl weekend was among the very first stats that I saw when we were getting into this project, and it blew my mind. Then you look at the real numbers of just how much is really bet in America, and it has billions and billions of dollars–and so much of that is prohibited wagering. Therefore it feels like it is one of these things everybody is doing, however, nobody really talks about.
Texas Monthly: Did working on this project inspire you to place any bets?
Bradley Jackson: Yeah. I hadn’t ever done it, and I’ve spent six months embedded within this world, I have made a couple–low-stakes things, just to get that sense of what it is like. And it is fun, especially when you’re wagering a reasonable level –but the emotions are still there. I am a really mental person, so when I dropped my fifty-dollar UT vs. OU wager, I felt awful for approximately an hour. Because of course I wager on UT, therefore when OU won, it hurt not only because my team dropped –it hurt more that I dropped fifty dollars.
Texas Monthly: Do you have a feeling of when putting a wager like that in Texas might be legal?
Bradley JacksonWe are living in a state that is obsessed with sports–football especially. And nothing draws people’s attention more than betting on soccer, especially the NFL. I believe eventually Texas can perform some kind of sports betting. I don’t know how long it’s likely to take. I believe that they’ll do it in cellular, because I don’t think we’ll see casinos in Texas, actually. I’ve been hearing that maybe Buffalo Wild Wings is going to do some type of pseudo sports gambling stuff, which means you might go to Buffalo Wild Wings and put in your telephone and set a fifty-dollar bet on the Astros, and I think that will be lawful one day. Probably sometime in the next five years.
Texas Monthly: With this business being huge, illegal, and thus largely untaxed, to what extent do you believe gambling as a source of untapped revenue for your country plays into things?
Bradley Jackson: That will play hugely right into it. From a monetary perspective, it is enormous. Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, was kind of on the forefront of that. He wrote an editorial to the New York Times about four years ago where he stated we need to take sports gambling from the shadows and then bring it into the light. That way you can tax it, which is obviously good for the countries, but you can also make sure it’s done over board. Once the Texas legislature sniff really how much money can be taxed, it is a no-brainer.
Texas Monthly: The prohibited bookie that you speak to in the documentary says that legalization doesn’t affect his organization. What was that like for you to learn?
Bradley Jackson: It blew me away. When we had been sketching out the figures we wanted to try and determine to put in the show, an illegal bookie was definitely on very top of our listing. Our premise was that this is going to hurt them. We thought we were going to obtain some New Jersey illegal bookie whose bottom line was likely to be really hurt by all of this. After we met this man, it was the exact opposite. He was like,”I am not sweating at all.” It really shocked me. He’d say he believes that if every state eventually goes, if that becomes 100 percent legal in every nation, he then think he might be affected. However he works from the Tri-State region, and right now it is only legal in New Jersey, and just in four or five places. He breaks it down really well in the conclusion of our first incident, where he simply says,”It is convenient and it’s credit–both C’s will never go off.” Having an illegal bookie, you are able to lose fifty thousand dollars on credit, and that can really negatively affect your life. Sometime you can still hurt yourself betting legally, but you can’t bet on credit through lawful channels. If casinos start letting you bet on credit, I believe his bottom line might get hurt. The longer it is part of this national conversation, the more money he makes, because people are like,”Oh, it is legal, right?”
Texas Monthly: Is daily fantasy one of the gateways to sports betting? It seems like it is just a small variant on traditional gambling.
Bradley Jackson: In Episode 3, we follow one of the top five daily fantasy players in the us. He’s a 26-year-old kid. He makes millions of dollars doing this. He advised me that the most he’s ever produced was $1.5 million in 1 week. One of our hypotheses for the series was that the pervasiveness of everyday fantasy was a gateway to the leagues letting legalized gaming to actually happen. For many years, you saw the NFL say that sports betting is the worst thing ever and they would never allow it. And then about four years back daily fantasy like DraftKings and FanDuel began, and they bought, I think, 30,000 advertisement spots across the NFL Sunday platform. When you were watching the NFL, any commercial was DraftKings or FanDuel. And a great deal of people were like,”Wait a minute, you guys say that you think sports gambling is the worst thing ever. How is this not gambling?” It is gambling. We really join the CEO of DraftKings, and a couple of the high-up individuals at FanDuel, and I think it’s B.S., but they say daily dream isn’t gambling, it is a game of skill. But I don’t think that is true.
Texas Monthly: The way people who make money do it will involve conducting substantial numbers of teams to beat the odds, rather than choosing the guys they believe have the best matchups this week.
Bradley Jackson: Right. We filmed our everyday dream player over a weekend of creating his bets, and he doesn’t do well that weekend. And he spoke about how what he is doing is a good deal of skill, but each week there are two or three plays which are entirely arbitrary, and they either make his week or ruin his week, which is 100 percent chance. This really is an element of gambling, because you’re putting something of financial worth up with an unknown result, and you have no control over how that’s awarded. We see him literally lose sixty million dollars on a three-yard run by Ezekiel Elliott. It’s the Cowboys-Eagles, and he states,”All I want is for the Cowboys to perform nicely, but minus Ezekiel Elliott making any profits, and then you see Zeke get, for example, a four-yard pass and he’s like,”If one more of those happens, then I am screwed.” And then there’s this little two-yard pass away from Prescott to Elliott and he goes,”Well, I simply lost sixty thousand dollars .” And you observe $60,000 jump out of an account. There.
Texas Monthly: Ken Paxton has argued that daily dream is prohibited in Texas. Are there any cultural factors in the country that might make this more challenging to pass, or is something similar to that just a way of staking a claim to the money involved?
Bradley Jackson: It could just be the pessimist in me, but think in the end of the day, a great deal of it just boils down to cash. An interesting case study is exactly what happened in Nevada. In Nevada they left daily dream illegal, which can be crazy, because gaming is legal in Nevada. Nevertheless, they made it illegal since the daily fantasy leagues wouldn’t cover the gambling tax. So it was just like a reverse position, in which Nevada said,”Hey, this is gambling, so cover the gambling taxes,” and DraftKings and FanDuel were like,”It is not gambling.” And so they did not come to Nevada. I really don’t think Texas will necessarily take action right off the bat, but I think it in a few years, when they determine how much money there will be produced, and there are smart ways to go about it, it is going to happen.
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