tv Inside Story Al Jazeera November 18, 2014 5:00pm-5:31pm EST
saying they are switching to the competition. >> got you. appreciate it. thank you, that is all of our time for this news hour, inside story is up next, for you with ray swarez on al jazeera america. >> he shoots, he scores. and basketball fans around the country go wild. the shot at the buzzer did not win the game, but it covered the spread. it's inside story. >> hello, i'm ray suarez. all the big team sports in america have taken great pains
to avoid gamblers and gambling, keeping franchises out of vegas. but one thing that big-time sports hate, and i mean hate, a big pile of money that it can't get its hands into. it's game, it's raw material, it's product, really, and yet does not pay those teams a penny. the new nba commissioner adam silver has had enough. he's opening the door a crack to green lighting betting on sports, and this time his league would get a cut. the end of a dirty little secret or the beginning of real headaches. there was terrific action. king james, lebron back with his home state cleveland cavaliers dropped 32 points. i would like to show you the highlights of this or any other game but i can't because to use any video from the nba i would
have to license it at great expense from the league. the nba is rolling in money, according to forbes. the average team is worth $634 million, up 25% from 2013. the league just inked new tv deals with turner and espn. the average annual pay out for tv writes is $2.6 million. as think compete with the powerhouse nfl, the league is searching for new income streams. that could explain why commissioner adam silver is saying out loud why not turn gambling into a money-making enterprise not just for the book makers but for us. silver said that legal sports gambling has big potential. he estimates $400 million a year for the league. right now it's nevada and the
sports books of las vegas that get all the action. if silver has its way congress are rewrite the laws that prohibit betting on the major league sports lesion like the nba, nfl or major league baseball. silver went to the times to make his case. gambling has become a popular and accepted form of entertainment in the united states. most states offer lotteries. over half of them have legal h casinos. others have approved internet gambling. there is safe and legal way to wager on professional sporting events. silver is out ahead of his counterparts. the nfl, major league baseball and the national hockey league commissioners don't support nationwide legalized gambling. don't bet on change any time soon. the odds are long congress will see it silver's way.
betting on sports. if i set up a factory and start churning out sweatshirts for the giants or san francisco logos on the chest i will eventually get something in trouble by taking something that is not mine. iif i spread out betting opportunities on this week's pro basketball games, the cash registers ring. nba commissioner adam silver will take another look at betting. joining us for that. dave zire sports editor for the nation and al jazeera sports
competitor. granted it was light on details but given the outline that adam silver gave us, what does he have in mind? >> i think you always have to look at it in a view of how does the nba benefit? i think he sees a way for the nba to push for legalized sports betting. >> opening the door wide so that any company that wants to get involved would make some sort of partnership with the nba? or would this be a partnership with one outfit, which would become the place to bet on games? >> i mean there are a lot of different ways to structure it. a few days before his announcement they signed a deal with fan duel, a daily fantasy sports website and it included an equity stake for the nba. it's the only one you'll see on the nba's website. that's an example of a way they can partner with just one entity. there are a lot of different directions they could go. that's something that pays off
immediately, right? you come up with a formula, for your players, your team, you win or lose and make a little money? a daily allows you to play every single day even if you lose yesterday, today you macon instruct a better team and win. >> and save ziron, it doesn't depend on the outcome of an actual game. >> fantasy sports is just betting by another name. adam civil had to write this op-ed for "the new york times" after the nba took that unprecedented step in buying a stake in fan duel and it had to explain why the nba was taking this step and what the nba had in mind for the future.
$400million in gambling money that pro leagues don't get their take. crudely, that's what it's about. they want a piece of the action since the action is done on their dime and on the sweat of their players. and adam silver has shown whether it's about gambling or he's floating the idea of putting ads on the uniforms of players that he's about monetizing this league within an inch of its life, and gambling is just one part of that magic. >> has las vegas been the beneficiary of the narrow range of sports betting legal options. as long as you keep it in short supply does the vegas book flourish? >> we've had an exclusive here for many years. it's the only place you can come and bet on daily games, whether if be nfl, nba, nhl or baseball. and the sports books have flourished. they've done a very nice job.
approximately $3.5 billion a year give or take a few pennies, and everything is going very nicely. we have a great life out here, and we love sports gambling. we love adam silver. we think he's brilliant. probably the biggest splash any commissioner has ever made in the top four sports, starting out with the scandal with the l.a. clippers and sterling. and now throwing his hat in the ring to legalize sports gambling and not be hypocritical because all the fantasy stuff is doing $60 billion to $70 billion a year. i love adam silver, and it can only be good for vegas and everybody involved, especially in my business. >> only be good for vegas? wouldn't you have to share that $3.5 billion. that's a lot of money. >> the bigger the pot, the more you're getting. >> that's exactly right. when the nba gets it's hat in
the ring, yes, the nba then gets its share. but the amount of people who will be able to do it, it will explode. it will be engine exponential. it doesn't mean that there is less gambling done in traditional matters. it just means more people are getting involved, more access to it. adam's future for it is buttons on the website. people have been able to do this over their smart phones. at work, whatever it takes to be able to quote/unquote enjoy sports through gambling, and in a lot of ways it's recognizing the reality that exist. sports league have been so allergic to gambling so long. two reasons. one is the fear that it will tempt players to throw games. that's ridiculous given the current sally climate that exists. and second darely, if you happen to live near a casino or live near vegas you're more susceptible to the demons of
gambling. it is there for everybody, and you should just accept the realities as they exist. >> the. >> nba wants to get it's money, and there is not a down side. it will lead to more players attempting to throw games, but it does actually the opposite by putting a lot more of it in legalized channels you can monitor it, monitor big bets and weird bets and detect patterns a lot better than you can if it's done, you know, off to the side somewhere. i think for the nba there is very little down side and pretty huge upside. >> one of the big mor smorgasbord sites. went to latvia because regulators were breathing down their neck. does it dry up the swamp for other operators if the leagues choose the people they want to
do business with? >> i don't think particularly. the nba is a small slice of this pie. if you're opening up, you're not doing it for the nba, you're doing it for the nfl, hockey, baseball. they'll want other exclusives. online operators. there will be better legal climate and more people will jump in the game. i don't think it's really something that just the nba will benefit from or exclusively get. it will be widespread. >> benjamin, you've been, like every member of the panel, pretty expansive about the future of this industry. is this something that can be controlled, managed to the advantage of the sports networks, or are freelancers going to get in on this action just as the more legit legalized does? >> it will become legalized,
>> as soon as it happens they'll be there and their brands will rake in millions and millions. we're very excited about it. >> quickly before we go to the break. everyone seems at peace about the possibility of this going forward and match fixing not being a part of it. those scandals exist year and year in professional soccer leagues. cricket, players have been played, and people still try to fix the outcome of games. >> it exists in places where there is hyper exploitation. the leagues in africa, for example, where players are paid a pittance.
unless you're talking about the ncaa, it's hard to imagine there is a financial upside of being part of anything like this. to pair fries what was said, the days when charlie kominsky was paying players $3,000 an giving them flat champagne for winning the pennant, those days are long done. we're in a bold new world, but maybe we could talk about this after the break. we may be seeing this from a down side perspective, but from the nba perspective, there are some down sides. >> we'll get to that later. when we come back, a look bat the long-time distaste of betting on sports. the look at owners for opening this door, and the rookie on the phone has been replaced by the internet--or has he?
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television shows interview odds makers and millions of dollars are won and lost out in the open. what happened? benjamin, was there a cultural shift? when did it become okay to openly bet on sports, and did it succeed in driving out the booky? >> well, as you both know ray, growing up in new york city that was the only way you could bet back in the 60's, 70's, and 80's up until the internet hit. in fact, i had a guy in astoria, ralphy numbers. he had a shop on astoria boulevard. it was a glass shop, a glass company, and he had the whole front window, the biggest crack you ever a have in your life across the whole front window. you walked in, and there were three panes of glass and you open the front door and there are 17 guys on the phones taking bets. those guys are fading away.
all those guys have gone to the internet and offshore to places like belize, latvia, overseas in england as well. >> is this something that everyone was comfortable with? does the commissioner of nfl, roger goodell, lose sleep overnight about this parasitic industry that uses his league to exist. >> well, he worries about bigger things, but yes, all the commissioner's jobs. they work for the owners, and the owners want to make money. i think they do lose sleep over their being untapped revenue streams. gambling is, there is a lot of them out there, but gambling is probably one of the biggest. >> even with patrol and regulation and oversight, there is still a secondary world that
is a little seedy and a slim shady. haven't the leagues been a little worried about that even if there are legal perimeters? >> it's more of an existential fear. you wonder why that exists. >> the nba just signed a deal that is worth $24 billion. now why are they making so much money? because in our internet, dvr, live streaming universe, live sports is really the--it's the tent pole of commercial television. it's the last front tear where people will watch and watch commercials to see what happens. the idea that there could even be a hint in people's minds that they're watching professional wrestling and not something where the outcome is not pre-determined, then the pent bowl goes away and the golden goose dies. it's the only thing, and really
in the nfl it can weather scandal after scandal after scandal, no matter how repulsive. yet when you get to the point where people doubt the veracity of the product, that's what would truly ital kill the golden goose. that's the fear that we've described, but that has to be something that gives the commissioners who are less forward-looking than adam silver a great deal of pause. >> so how do you keep those two worlds comfort which apart? how do you maintain the fire wall that maintains the public confidence in the games? >> well, do you it like we do it here in las vegas and in the nevada gaming commission, probably one of the respected gaming commissions in the world, and the fbi and many people have worked with the sports books here in las vegas. as a matter of fact, the sports books and sharper guys who have noticed strange line moves, when
i say a line moves, a game that may jump an inordinate number of points than where it started out, the guys in vegas will alert people to that fact and say, we've got a little fishiness going on. let's look in to it. when that happens, the game will be taken off the board and they won't be able to bet on it, it might be put back up again, but we're very careful out here. we would rather have everything on the up and up because it makes sense and it makes it much easier for people to bet on. >> we'll be back in a moment with more inside story after this short break. when we return we'll hear from my guests about whether the nba can at least for a time go it alone. what the possible impact of opening the door of legal betting on league games could be and whether football, baseball, hockey, will have to follow. stay with us.
>> you're watching inside story. i'm ray suarez. sports betting with the participation of leagues may be some way off, but nba commissioner adam silver opened the door a crack in the last several days. could legal bette bet fors not just rooting for a side but hoping for a special outcome pop . >> can the nba with the test case and move on on its own on this? >> oh, they certainly can.
because one thing about adam silver we've learned, he has two priorities. the first is monetizing the league. gambling, putting ads on the uniforms what have you. but he's also profoundly pr conscious. and ever evidentbly as you legalize gambling there are publickization issues. people want to take responsibility, if people are pulled into gambling addiction. there are horror stories that will come out of that. and then adam silver will have to say, well, this is about people's freedom, personal choices. we'll give this much money to
gambling anonymous to show that we understand that there could be a dark side to some of these issues. and so it's just--that's what it's really going to be about. will silver and the nba be able to weather that alone. >> kevin draper we've been talking about adam silver. we haven't mentioned john boehner or mitch mcconnell. how big of a player is congress? >> adam silver in his op-ed. he said that they'll continue as long as this is federally illegal. he wants a federal solution not a state by state one. adam silver's statement is a big deal, but he didn't pledge to do anything.
it's up to congress to legalize. >> this is probably great news, however it goes down, because you'll have more people looking at your lines, but what about the business interests in las vegas. anything that opens access that doesn't involve walking into a keane is probably a threat to the business model, isn't it? >> but everything is going to continue to walk into casinos. people will continue to bet the super bowl. we have more people out here. march madness, the first four days of the tournament is incredible. you can't find a room in vegas, and i don't think that is going to be an impact. from my business it's a huge bonus. a huge plus. we're excited by it, and the cash cow is the nfl. it's great to see adam silver do this but in vegas basketball and
baseball combined does not come close to the money bet on football every year. football is the cash cow and it's christmas. the more the merrier. that's how he look at it. >> i would be remiss if i didn't mention the ncaa. because they aren't making an average of $4 million a year those fellas. they can't even get an extra pair of sneakers without somebody looking over their shoulder. are they going to have to be carved out in some way? >> that's the biggest issue here. the ncaa, you have people signing autographs for a couple of thousand dollars. you have stories of athletes that--they can't ate real food because they don't make any money even though they generate numbers of dollars for their school. i think it goes along a parallel path. there is already change going on in the ncaa. it has nothing to do with sports gambling. it's hard to tell in five or ten years what the ncaa will look
like, and how much that has to do with sports gambling and issues of amateurism that we're not touching on here. >> kevin draper. benjamin, dave, thank you for joining us. this brings us to the end of this inside story. thank you for being with us it at home. the program may be over but the conversation continues. we want to know what you think about the issues raised on this or any day's space took show. follow me at ray suarez news. we'll see you next time. i'm ray suarez. >> coming up at 6:00 p.m. eastern on al jazeera america. the u.s. senate is about to vote on the keystone xl pipeline. but th the fight on the project will likely continue. after palestinian attackers killed five people at a synagogue in jerusalem. and the nfl has suspended adrian peterson for the rest of
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