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1080 The Fan>Audio & Video on Demand>>Whit Askew Interview 3-20-17

Whit Askew Interview 3-20-17

Mar 20, 2017|

VP of Government Relations for the American Gaming Association, Whit Askew, returns to Dirt & Sprague with details on how much commerce governments are missing out on during the NCAA tournament.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

What's up everybody it's dirt when I thank you for takes some time out to listen to the podcast of our show brought to you by less Schwab tires doing the right thing since 1952. I won't back in there's re happy Monday to be out Mondays are going well don't forget Ron footer actors Spragan as a follow we will follow you back. All lots of money being thrown around over the last couple days in the NCAA tournament so without what better person to bring on our body. Wit askew VP of government relations for the American Gaming Association. He joins us on the guild mortgage mobile hot line outwit thanks for coming on the show again man we really enjoyed our first conversation were pumped out here. A back on let's just go through some of the numbers I mean we all know people lay money down on the NCAA tournament exactly how much money. Was gambled their on the opening weekend decides tournament. Well guys it's really good to be back with you and I have at least how to go about it when you guys scared the few weeks ago thanks for the patient. And you know it is it's it's staggering when you look at the numbers obviously you know we're all glued DirecTV over the weekend march badness super exciting. An American certainly agree. Because the wager and are wagering over ten point four billion dollars this year on the big perk that and end. The problem with that is. 87% of that book is done so illegally. When you look at Nevada sports books which I know that you know well. Only 295. Million. Is being placed on March Madness there so there's a big gap between what's being done legally on the up and up in the Nevada sports books. Forces these billions of dollars and Americans are put it on March Madness. As we speak salutes it's popular. But it also is very illegal. You know I wanted to ask you this last time Whipple we ran out of time so I'm just curious now that we have college basketball's tournament going and all that money's being thrown around him most of it being illegal. On there's something else wanna touch on with you in this interview in regards to legalized betting I'm just curious your two cents is your personal opinion. How would you go about legalized sports betting what would you change how would you implement it to be okay in regards to working with the sports leagues. Well first and foremost the federal government in the United States congress has got to get out of the way. You know there's just 25 year old prohibition on sports betting. That passed before Al Gore even invented the Internet. Gasoline was a dollar thirteen. And the Washington Redskins won the last symbol probably the last removal of neck. I live in DC but the fact is. Just all it's got to be overturned in Washington that allows states to decide. What's been their best interest in her doing that. Stick and then put a regulatory model and a licensing model. And taxation and placed the same way that they've done in forty states with existing brick and mortar casinos. Like Nevada and the 39 other states. And so each state will decide what level of regulation. And licensing. Requirements. Are should be but the fact is they can't do that and to Washington and get out of their way. Advertising aware and ask you VP of government relations for the American. Gaming association talk and now little. Legalize sports gambling after all the money that was thrown around here and will continue to be thrown around. In the NCAA tournament double one newsworthy item that I think will will support your cause and and and our cause as well because we're obviously on board. A with what you guys are arguing what was the comments from the MLS commissioner that happened. At the SXSW. Conference just for those of the listeners a didn't hear what he had to say. What exactly were his thoughts and how supportive of your guys is efforts is that going to be. Also rarely any major sporting league commissioner making public comments to. Essentially saying that the writing on the wall and that legal regulated sport spending is inevitable. It's something that we take very seriously because it certainly we couldn't agree more. The fact is when you don't have regulation. And you have a list in place to sleep every thing under the wrong. There's no limit to mention work. The integrity of your game election have regulation. And so I think you know that the commissioner's comments as well as you know other prominent figures like Adam silver. Even commissioner and friend who's made some recent comments suggesting that they hear that they're looking closely at this issue and and it seems to be inevitable. You know we would agree he and we would ask them to you know to continue to publicly make that dialogue. Because. Lawmakers in Washington and the need to understand that there's just daft illegal market does nothing to protect consumers and does nothing to protect the the integrity of game. And by the way there's no jobs and their economic revenue benefits for me illegal gambling. So all these factors together matter. He ended and the commissioner of Major League soccer what is the latest in a groundswell of support ensuring that it's time to overturn dispelled ball. Well you got Don Garber the guy you're just mentioning there the commissioner of MLS speaking out at SXSW. You mention silver we know man Fred we know all their stances. I feel like you're one away with the Dow ended the weird thing with fidelity is he wanting knowledge of publicly but behind the scenes in money wise they they sponsor they they have sponsorship deals. With like draft kings infineon duel and all that so it's cutting their pretty close to admitting it publicly that it should be okay. If that coalition were work together these commissioners or these major sports leagues and in our country. Give me a timeline of how soon you think they'd be able to push some of the the federal government and and legislation to make this a legalized or we talked in. Five years down the road ten years down there and you think and further than that if these commissioners are able to come together and start banning together to push this. Yes yes. If a range of stakeholders whether beat sporting a truce will. We're broadcasting interest or law enforcement or federalism groups that believe it's state should choose what's in the best interest. And certainly each sector of the regulated gaming industry of which I represent if we can all come together. And in message to Capitol Hill and states that this is an issue and a problem we're solving. There were optimistic that isn't just for your term of president trot. We can have some success. Now the trick is there are a lot of other major issues dominating the national headlines that we got to work our way through. Which is why it's important. That we not to depart for the worst so we've got this divorce range of stakeholders is important that there. Looking to get a walking their ankles here to help educate lawmakers and and policy makers. But the best take on. But we're optimistic that if that happens we're going to be successful. And perhaps allow your state today and what's again. Didn't exceed the legal sports betting business which you know. They chose not to because they want to close in particular term that I guess and that it worked out so well. And don't even get a start on that when I don't even get us started on that we miss we we went we miss sports accurate title would ask you VP of government relations. For the American Gaming Association and you know we're just mentioning Rodger Goodell and and I did the NFL's hesitancy I gusted to get behind this but. Once sports story that we've been following rather closely is the situation around the Oakland Raiders and it sounds like now they're backing is once again in place. Potentially to move to Las Vegas. I guess my question would be do you think that. Changes the status if the raiders are to move to Vegas here in the short term and I'd say they're playing their next season. Do you think that helps kind of slowing the momentum I guess and in the favor of the NFL being on board but does. We'll look at it certainly doesn't hurt I think it's important to recognize and context it's so not only did. The National Hockey League decide to put its newest expansion team in Las Vegas to. Literally and at first class Serena next door to. You know the first class gaming facilities at this world knows it lost against. But I did offense looking at the raiders are. That's great but if you also look at nationally there are brick and mortar casinos. In forty states. That means they're a lot of cities that are most communities to have professional sports whether he would have felt or others. In new proximity already. And so the notion that. That sports and entertainment cannot co exist with gaming entertainment it is it's just wrong. It and you're starting to see that when you've seen the expansion of a brick and mortar casinos across the country. Also in the shadows of professional sports teams in the air stadiums so this was just one yet another example. And you know curators and the NFL team owners decide that. That's in the best interest of the week. But I'm sure that the Las Vegas community will be thrilled to have them as yet another part of their first class entertainment experience that they are already providing. You know I'm not sure if you'd be only give us an exact figure but the first you know first couple days of of of the turn emit no way it is and everybody skipping out on worker paying attention network and following because of their bracket. I'm curious what is the percentage in terms of bats from. The first rounds to this week directed it to the final sixteen in X centering said it is a drop order more people continue to bat up and open up. I can tell you yes the average gains watched our players to don't have a bracket or haven't filled out a bracket. Is seven point four games watched that leverage. When you look at. My upper brackets that hold out and then hard copy paper brackets filled out. That number is closer to nine games average on average that they're watching so. Regardless let me you can factory again we don't break it out based off of brand owned. But when you get skin in the game or not matters in terms of viewership of the gates. He and certainly the most avid NCAA viewers are those that are filling up the mobile brackets. And all the data that we have shown that. You can also look at research we and felt last year. What thirty million people won't go out roughly seventy million brackets but that's last year. And so the momentum is is only grow. End yeah obviously excitement of the games we've had some good ones over the last couple of days probably only adds to that excitement. But for those who put out a bracket. You know regardless of of Hutus playing their watch. Now I would ask you is his name VP of government relations for the American. Gaming association. What you know you got a couple supporters here in Portland so we always appreciate you taking a few minutes forests and not talk and legalize sports gambling. I think it's my pleasure I appreciate the invitation and look for the rest of this tournament at a future conversation consumer and get this done.

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