Discussion on Economics and Ethics of Legalized Sports Gambling

Discussion on Economics and Ethics of Legalized Sports Gambling


– [Tom] Good evening everyone
thanks for coming out.
I’m Tom Landy, I’m the director
of the McFarland Center
for Religion, Ethics and Culture.
Welcome to our home, Rehm Library.
McFarland Center sponsors
lectures, conferences,
special events, exhibits
that explore questions
of meaning, morality and
basic human obligation.
You can watch, learn
more about our programs,
watch a lot of them online,
in a few days to be able
to watch this one online
and all at HolyCross.edu/McFarlandCenter.
Tonight we’re going to
tackle a timely moral issue
that states across the
Union are grappling with.
We may be, our attention’s been drawn
in some different directions
in the last day or two
or month and a half or whatever
running up to yesterday.
But this has been a significant
issue over the last year.
In May of this year
a Supreme Court decision opened the doors
for states to legalize sports gambling.
So far as I understand it,
nine states have authorized it
and many more introduced
legislation to do so.
And given that Massachusetts
was one of the first
to address the legality
of daily fantasy sports
with companies like
FanDuel and DraftKings,
it could move quickly here
on sports betting as well.
So we have questions to
ask about what it means
for sports including
college level athletics,
how that impacts our
individual and social well-being
and look at some ethical issues at stake.
there are really a wide variety of ethical
issues at stake here but despite that
I’ve invited two economists to talk
about these no actually it’s not despite
that all kidding aside precisely these
two economists are great people to help
us to do that and we’re
fortunate to have them.
They bring a wealth of expertise
on ethics and economics
and gambling with us tonight.
And we didn’t have to
look very far to get them
professor Victor Matheson is professor of
economics here at Holy Cross
studies sports economics,
lotteries and gaming,
environmental and energy economics
and forensic economics.
His publications include the
Economics of Sports 6th edition
with Peter von Allmen and Mike Leeds.
He’s co-editor of the
Journal of Sports Economics
and has written over 80 journal
articles and book chapters
In addition, he’s worked as
a soccer referee 30 years
as you can tell any day that
you see him in a soccer jersey
and officiated and matches
in the Major League Soccer
in over 400 Division one college games.
He’s a go-to guy for
research and commentary
and the economic wisdom of subsidizing
sports stadiums even though the locals
in Worcester paid no attention to him
this particular time.
Father Richard McGowan SJ is a Jesuit
who served for 32 years,
he said you’ve been
teaching at Boston College
and recently became treasurer of
the Maryland province of the Jesuits.
His sort of co-treasury works with him,
his own Father McFarland the namesake
of this Center and I gather eventually
you’re going to push Father
McFarland out of his job–
– I don’t think that’s the
way he looks at it. (laughs)
– When the province is merged,
so he’s ready to go I’m sure.
In El Salvador he
frequently travels for work
at the Jesuits UCA the
Jesuit University there.
I gather he’s jokingly
referred to as Padre Pecado,
or father sin.
He’s published six books
that focus on vices
including gambling, tobacco,
alcohol, and marijuana.
Three of those books focused
on the gambling industry
and the latest is titled
The Gambling Debate
which was published in 2007.
He has a new book forthcoming with Yale
that he was telling us
about that he’s working on,
he served on the Board
of the Massachusetts
Compulsive Gambling Council and the
National Center for Responsive Gambling
and has been a consultant to numerous
lottery and gaming commissions.
And both people here, you have
probably actually heard them
somewhere on the radio
or the TV before because
they’re both very sought after
as media commentators, so
we’ve got both of that.
Rather than do talks we’re going to do
a little bit more of a conversation
and I have a lot to
learn about these issues,
so I’m stuck in the middle,
and we’ll give a chance
to really both of them
to talk about it and open things up
to questions and comments,
and maybe the place to start
with either one, or maybe you which the
status sports game gambling in the US
and what’s changed this
year and how we got here?
– Well, traditionally
sports gambling was no-no.
The only state that up,
in 1988 was a little bit
of an interesting year.
That is when the federal
government told states
“If you ever want sports
gambling you have to tell us now
“whether you want it.”
And obviously, Nevada said “We want it.”
Then Delaware, Oregon, and
Montana, now why Montana?
I guess if didn’t want
the sheep or whatever.
But anyway, I mean they
were the states, and Oregon.
There were five states that
said “Yes we do want it.”
We eventually want to do sports gambling.
All the other states, and let’s face it,
1988, it was probably no one
ever thought they were going to,
gambling was going to be this
big, so all the other states.
Then New Jersey had a statewide
referendum, where I think it
was 56 to 44 in favor of
having sports gambling.
Federal government said “You
said you didn’t want it,
“you can’t have it.”
And New Jersey said
“This is a state issue,
“and therefore we will take
you to the Supreme Court.”
and as you just mentioned in
May, the Supreme Court ruled
yes indeed it is a state issue,
it is not a federal government issue,
and so Jersey immediately, with the other,
and since then you’re right.
It’s funny, I did my first
book on the lotteries.
And it’s interesting
if you see how states,
as soon as the neighboring
states had a lottery,
that’s when the next state had it.
And I would imagine it’s exactly
what’s going on in sports gambling.
You have New Jersey, Delaware,
Pennsylvania is going
to have it very soon,
New York I can’t imagine not,
Connecticut’s already allowing it there,
but the two Native American casinos don’t
start offering sports
gambling, things like that.
It’ll probably go all over the place.
And so Massachusetts,
there’s already two bills
in the legislature there
about whether or not to
legalize sports gambling.
– It’s not quite a moral contagion.
As an economist, you would say
it’s spread from state to state because…
– Basically, it’s for instance,
why we have casino gambling
in this state right now is,
I will never forget when when
the state legislature found out
that one third of the people in Foxwoods
and Mohegan Sun were
from Massachusetts,
then the argument became “Well
if they’re gambling here,
“why not bring them back home.”
And that’s, I mean, so…
– So much money leaving the state.
– Well yeah, that’s one of the arguments.
Now, the cost of that,
and then I guess I’ll
play some my economy,
then the other argument was,
“Well, will people get addicted?”
Connecticut won’t be
paying for the addiction,
Massachusetts will be
paying for their addiction,
so therefore why not let them
get addicted in Massachusetts?
Which is a rather interesting thing,
where the state comes in that way.
– We can come back later to how well
Massachusetts serves addiction,
but that will make you circle back
around to some of that.
Anything you’d say about
how we got here, or add?
– Well, and so it’s
important to notice that
United States is different
than lots of other
countries in the world.
We have very, very limited sports gaming.
In other countries, for example the UK,
we have sports gaming on everything.
If you wanted to place
a bet on how many seats
the Democrats were going to pick up
in the congressional elections,
you could have made that bet,
but you couldn’t make
that in the United States,
but you could have done it in London.
They sports gambling is
not just limited to casinos
in the UK, literally every
small town has a 7-Eleven,
a place where you can get fish
and chips and a Ladbrokes,
which is that small
corner shop where you can
place a bet on essentially
any type of sport
or all sorts of other things going on.
We have seen across the rest of the world
does not have nearly the same sort of
history as the United States does
of limiting sports gambling.
In many ways, the United States is late
to the sports gambling, the
sports gambling history.
But that being said, we know as a culture,
not just in the United States,
but across the world,
essentially as soon as
we had organized sports,
we had organized gambling
going along with the sports.
We know that there was gambling
at the ancient Olympics.
That’s 776 BC was the first Olympics.
Almost certainly the first gambling
at the Olympics was 776 BC.
We know that there’s
been gambling all the way
we know in Italy in the Renaissance
there were small little
houses dedicated to gambling.
Of course that’s a casa, right?
And in Spanish is casa, right?
A little house, cassini, okay?
Casino, that’s what we
get that word from, right?
We know that people have
been gambling forever.
The United States has a particularly
interesting history with sports gambling
and trouble with our early leagues
having problems with games being thrown,
so we’ve done a little bit different
with sports gambling
than some other countries
in the world, but realize the
United States history here
is distinctly different
than what we’re seeing in other places.
– I’m told that you
alluded to the problems
with the leagues before with gambling,
but that sports leagues
have changed their mind
about gone from being
anti-gambling to pro gambling?
If so, what’s that about?
– If we look at the history
in the United States,
the first professional
leagues in the United States
were were in baseball, right?
Starting about 1871 there
were about five or six
major leagues that were precursors to our
current Major League Baseball.
Of those original five or six leagues,
all of them folded except for one.
Almost all the time they folded
not because of lack of demand,
almost always what happened is
players were throwing games,
people thought the games were rigged,
and they don’t want to see,
they don’t want to see a rigged game,
they wanted to see real
uncertainty of outcome.
It’s a whole different experience
watching the Celtics versus the Lakers
than it is watching a rigged game.
The Globetrotters, right,
versus the Generals.
That’s what we had the leagues for there.
The first precursor to the NFL,
which was the Ohio Football League
also folded in 1908, just
a year after it formed.
Again, because teams were throwing games.
Here in the United States,
our leagues were terrified of gambling
because of the concern of corruption
and what corruption does for your product
when you’re a sports league.
Because of that, the sports
leagues themselves have been
extremely anti-gambling
for many, many years.
However recently, that’s begun to change,
simply because these leagues realize
that there’s a lot of money
you’re potentially leaving on the table.
Some direct money, I’m
wearing my Melbourne Victory,
that’s an Australian football team,
Australian soccer team.
The primary jersey
sponsor here is Intralot.
A big sports gambling entity,
actually out of Greece,
but you can you can
bet on Australian games
in Australia on this.
They know they’re leaving
money on the table here
and they realize, “You
know, maybe we could make
“more money if people
were to get more invested
“by the games by not just
having their sporting interest
“in here but also some
financial interest in the game.”
– I mean, it’s the interest in the game.
Look at fantasy sports.
The reason why somebody
would watch, for instance,
we’ll say the Jets play the Giants,
they’re both losers. (laughter)
I can’t loathe saying that.
The only reason why lots of
people will watch that game
is because they have fantasy
players on those teams,
they have money riding on
the game, so in other words,
one of the things that sports leagues
are very well aware of,
especially pro football right now,
the reason why people will
watch the certain games
is because they have money on that game.
Either that or there’s other reasons,
but that’s the problem,
that lots of people will just say
that’s why they watch those games.
– Is there a WWF effect,
that people don’t need
to believe that sports are honest?
– No, I think we actually do have
some pretty good evidence
that when people think a game is rigged,
they’re not interested in watching.
And they want again this
uncertainty of outcome.
Remember, one of the one of the cliches
about the NFL is any given Sunday, right?
That means any given
Sunday anything can happen,
and that’s why we go back again and again.
If we think, well any given Sunday
we know that the Giants are going to win
because that’s where the Mafia
or the game fixers are putting the money,
that all of a sudden
becomes uninteresting.
And again, we have a lot of history,
at least early in US professional sports,
of again, demand for the
sport completely collapsing
when the gamblers got into it
and got into the players as well.
– I mean that’s why they said Babe Ruth
actually saved baseball.
Because remember, baseball,
but right before Babe Ruth came along.
I had that the Black Sox scandal,
remember the World Series
was actually fixed that year.
But then luckily for baseball
they got some big stars,
they got people interested
in the game again.
But of course then the Red Sox
sold off Babe Ruth to the
Yankees, and off we go.
But I mean, it’s interesting
about the integrity of
the game, that’s for sure,
and how important that is.
– It’s always struck as
around American sports
that there is a moral belief that
getting kids involved in sports
makes morally good better
people, sort of team.
And if there’s a piece of that that goes
together, or is it really just about
skin in the game or having a stake in it?
Those are two very different
kinds of arguments.
Maybe one’s a sociologist’s argument
and one’s an economist’s argument there.
We talked a little bit
about international,
you alluded to that already.
Some comparative differences.
I’m interested, well maybe a first one,
since you mentioned being able to use
a Greek firm to bet on the Australians.
Is the internet really changing this?
Is this kind of an age-old problem that
goes all the way back to Greece
and it hasn’t changed much,
or is there something about the current
internet structure and
betting in the world
that’s pushing this along?
– Well, right now our
federal government says
you can’t bet on the Internet.
Theoretically you can, I mean,
so you can’t use a credit card,
you’d have to be able to somehow,
you have to have a foreign bank account,
wire the money back in, do it that way.
I’m sure there are people,
but the federal government
is still really, really anti-gambling,
and so you can’t use the internet.
And in fact there was a case in California
where somebody, and by
the way in Roman law,
gambling bets were uncollectible.
You were not allowed to
collect gambling debt.
And so again, and remember,
most of our legal system
is based on Roman law.
Gambling debts, now,
if you went to your local
bookie and told them
“According to Roman law,
you can’t collect it.”
I somehow think your knees
would not be quite the same afterwards.
Are there bills in
Congress to change that?
Yes.
We’ll see what happens.
– Well then technology does
change the game a lot, right?
Attention a game in a couple of ways.
First of all,
if you are Melbourne Victory,
you are not just selling
your product anymore
to folks in Melbourne, Australia, right?
You want to sell that internationally.
Now, this is not a product
that can be sold very
well internationally.
But if you’re Man. United,
if you’re if you’re Barcelona,
if you are Real Madrid,
if you’re Bayern Munich, right,
all of these folks, they’re trying to sell
to a worldwide audience and
of course you can do that now
because you can broadcast games
and you can watch games
all over the world,
which means that you also want to try
to get interest from
folks around the world.
Which means that again, being able to bet
around the world kind of goes hand in hand
with this expansion of the ability
to watch games around the world
We are definitely seeing that, and again,
technology expands things in a huge way.
The other thing that
technology is definitely doing
is it allows bets on
an instantaneous basis
rather than kind of like
a one-time ticket, right?
A standard old timey bet is
“I’m going to bet ten dollars
that the Yankees beat the
“Red Sox on their game tomorrow.”
That of course can still be made, right?
However, now it’s not just that,
it’s “I can bet on that, but
while the game is going on,
“I’m going to bet that Boston gets
“at least two runs in the third inning,
“or it is the third inning
and Boston has one out.
“Runners on second and third.
“I bet the next play is going to be a hit.
“I bet they score at least three runs
“in this inning right now.
“I bet the next pitch is a strike, right?”
And that’s something the
technology does for you
is it allows you to make bets
on essentially an instantaneous basis,
and makes you so a gambler could have
essentially constant interaction
with a gambling product.
Again, that may make the
game more entertaining,
and it could also make gambling
significantly more addictive as well.
– But it’s also not the states
that have legalized gambling so far,
it’s strictly as Victor
just talked, the old-style,
and you have to actually go someplace.
In Delaware, you have
to go to a racetrack,
you would have to go to a casino.
You can’t do anything online yet.
But there I think that’s
when things really change.
Wait till States compete with one another
for this gambling revenue and one state
then all of a sudden
decides you can go online,
and that’s when the thing
that would change this.
– How far away do you
think we are from that
if you betting? (laughter)
– Let me just give you, now I mean,
it’s interesting like the riverboats.
When they first started they were in Davenport, Iowa.
It was the first riverboat, and again,
you could only go on the boat with $50.
You were allowed to sail for one hour,
and then you then you weren’t allowed on
for the rest of the day.
Then Indiana, and then
some of the other states
started having it.
Then Iowa decided, “Well, you can go on
“as often as you want,
“but you can only bring $1,000.”
Then they finally said,
“Well, we don’t need the boats at all.
“We’ll build the casinos on the river.”
And so what they did with
it, it just upped the ante.
I can’t imagine eventually an event
that states are going to, now,
I think that they better
wonder what’s going to happen
to people who have access to the, I mean,
since everybody has
access to the internet,
if they allow, and once it goes online
I think they’re going to have a
lot harder time controlling it.
Yeah, but for the revenue purposes, yeah,
they’re going to want that.
– And of course this sort of product
is available now in the UK.
There you can bet as the games go along,
odds change drastically
during the course of the game.
Again that first goal is scored,
all of a sudden you can
resell your bet back.
You’re “I’m betting this team to win,
“but now I got different odds.”
And you can sell them back.
Again, this happens in the UK now.
I would say within,
certainly within five years
there will at least be
some states that will allow
that with at least for games
played within their states,
that for example, you’ll
be able to go to the
TD Banknorth Garden and be able to
engage in bets while the game is going on.
That will happen at least
in at least one state.
– Now the Australians have been doing it.
They’ve had online betting
for all the things you
were talking about Victor,
for the last seven years.
That’s to show you the
difference between cultures.
Right now in the United States,
it’s around $400 per capita
that’s spent on gambling.
Which is, multiply the
three hundred million of us
time $400, the median income yeah.
It’s pretty good.
The Aussies average $1,400
per capita gambling.
They are four times bigger than us almost.
– But of course remember it’s Australia,
so just walking outside
with everything as poisonous as it is,
that’s pretty much gambling
for them as well, right?
But it’s a very different, I mean,
so when you allow online gambling,
you do develop a much different culture.
– Take me to where my next question was.
We were talking about
what we what we can learn
from other countries’
experiences, that’s clearly one.
What possibilities, what do you see other
countries’ cautionary tales?
What do you…
– We certainly see a pretty wide range
in the number of reported people
who were problem gamers
from country to country.
And I don’t know enough about this,
so Rich will have to be able to
answer this but is that because
there’s a different
standard for reporting,
and really people around the
world are equally addicted
to these sort of things?
Or is it really the case that for example,
the Germans report almost
no problem gambling
in terms of percentage of the population,
while the Brits are 10 or 15 times higher
despite fairly similar access
to to gambling products.
– That’s what you normally do you,
you have to make the difference between
somebody who’s a problem gambler
and someone who’s addicted.
It’s around a problem gambler is somebody
who could have a problem.
In sports gambling, at least in my own,
and again, I being someone
who doesn’t usually use
a statistical analysis.
I would probably say the typical person
who’s a problem gambler,
and if they get themselves
into sports gambling trouble,
they do it once and they’ll stay out.
Especially if it was underground,
I mean the bookies start
threatening them, they say
“All right, I’ve learned my
lesson, I won’t do it again.”
Now the problem getting
the addicted gambling
is around 2% of the population.
– 2% of gamblers, or 2% of?
– 2% of the population can
be addicted to gambling.
A little less, a little
more, depending on the thing.
I have a feeling that
the younger age group
with sports gambling,
I have a feeling it’s going
to be a lot higher than 2%,
that are going to have trouble.
– Just to put a number on that, right,
so in Massachusetts if 2% of people are
have gambling addiction problems,
for a state like
Massachusetts that’s about
a hundred thousand people in
the state of Massachusetts
who have an addiction
problem with gambling.
– But right now the stake is,
and I just think that the
state of Massachusetts latest,
and this is before we
could have sports gambling
and before the casinos
and all the other stuff really pitch in.
That the lottery made a billion dollars
last year in Massachusetts.
The state generously gave $200,000
for compulsive gambling, that’s it.
It’s something that the state
really has to think about
what they’re going to do about it.
– When we were first talking about this,
and one of the first
interactions I had with Rich here
right after the passage, or
the Supreme Court decision,
and what I was telling
people who were talking to me
is I suspected that the
legalization of sports gambling
wouldn’t have much effect
at all on problem gambling.
My reasoning was that pretty
much you can gamble already
in so many places in so many
ways across the United States
that anyone who’s likely
to be addicted to gambling
has already become addicted,
and therefore adding one more product
doesn’t do a whole lot.
That was my thinking on that.
Rich disagrees, and I think I
have come around to his side
is that sports gambling
might be a different product
that is uniquely addictive
to a unique type of person.
– Well because I think you
could do homework on it.
Let’s face it, you can’t do a
homework on a lottery ticket.
– Or the roulette wheel?
– Or the roulette wheel or the other guy,
I mean now people should
realize how what a
statistically independent event means.
But we will not go into lecture
in statistics right now.
But let’s face it.
If you’re an athlete, you
think you can, by the way,
athletes definitely
have a higher percentage
of people who get addicted
to sports gambling.
Because they think they know the sport,
and I don’t blame them.
But they’re going to get themselves
in so much trouble that way so.
And when it becomes more
available, at this pace,
I think it’ll be certain.
The other thing Victor, the reason why
I think you’re certain people
still don’t want to bet with a bookie.
Just don’t want to go with a bookie.
However, if you could bet with the state?
A lot easier.
I think I spoke with the
lotteries, it was that way.
All of a sudden, instead of going to the,
well, by the way with
Massachusetts legalized,
the lottery is just one of
the more humorous things.
The state cops raided the
bookies in the North End.
So have the bookies set
up their numbers game
and the state made sure that
a lot with the lottery game
offered slightly better
odds than the bookies,
they put the bookies out of business.
Unfortunately the side effect of that was,
and then the underground,
they went in and started offering drugs,
which is why we got a Whitey Bulger.
– When you talk about a gambling addiction
and you talk about problem
versus real addiction,
tell me about effects or
how you think of it about,
in terms of behaviors is that
“I can’t pay the mortgage,”
that is it “I spend eight
hours a day,” or is it…
– Well, if you’re if
you’re living with somebody
who’s addicted to gambling,
it means you can’t keep
anything in the house.
You can’t trust the person, period.
They will take anything just
so that they can gamble.
It’s interesting when you ask someone
who is addicted to gambling.
It’s not the thrill of winning the money,
it’s just the thrill of taking the risk.
These are people who are, they
are not minimum risk takers.
They love that they live to take a risk,
and the adrenaline they
get for taking a risk.
Most of us are not maximizing
risk, that’s for sure.
I know I don’t.
– 2% in that category?
– Yeah there’s around
2% of the population.
By the way again, this
is another whole thing,
and I don’t know how this would
work with sports gambling.
Most of the people who
are addicted to gambling
are also addicted to something else.
It’s called comorbidity.
There’s comorbidity.
For one of the better, there’s
an addictive personality.
But they’re also very nice people.
They’re people that
like to take a risk with
and do things for you and everything else,
but good luck.
– And we did see for sure.
If you look at the data, so
it’s always nice for economists.
You look at data, as,
so here’s one clear
side-effect we’re seeing.
As states legalized both the lotto
and legalized casinos
immediately following that
you had increases in
bankruptcy filings, right,
so that’s one pretty clear
finding in the data at
least for the first roughly half of states
that were the first movers in lotteries.
And so, add a lottery, see
an increase in bankruptcy.
And I think most economists say
“All right, how do we explain that?”
At least one is people
overspending because
they are addicted to
that type of gambling.
– The divorce rate goes up.
– That’s one I didn’t know, okay.
– The divorce rate goes up.
That’s another thing that usually goes up.
And if the casino, I mean,
now whether or not crime
goes up is interesting.
I, because for instance where Foxwood was,
actually crime went
down near them because,
but they never had so many
Connecticut state cops there.
The crime didn’t go to…
In Atlantic City, certainly
crime went up with the casinos.
– Again, one of the reasons why Rich
has brought me around on this
sports gambling being unique,
because we see this in
other parts of economics,
is the illusion of control, right?
If you’re engaged in sports gambling,
you believe you have control because
you think you are smarter
than the sports line.
We see this in other
places, like for example,
we think we’re safer driving
a car than in an airplane,
so no one’s afraid of
driving in their car,
but tons of people are afraid of flying.
Why is that?
Again, psychologically it said
“I’m in control of my car,
“and I’m a better than average driver.”
Of course, what do we know
about half of all drivers?
By definition they have to
be below average, right?
But everyone thinks they’re an
above-average driver, right,
so you have this illusion
of control and you’re like
“All right, so nothing’s going
to happen to me in a car.
“But in flying, I don’t
have any control over that.”
That pilot could be terrible, right?
But same sort of thing with gambling here.
And again, Rich has brought
me around on this for sure
is “I have control on
whether I win or lose
“in sports gambling, because
I’m smarter than the book.”
Unfortunately again,
bringing data to this,
you’re not smarter than the book, right?
The reason the book makes money
is because the book is smarter than you.
And one great example that
maybe will ring a little bit
for Holy Cross students,
one of our better known
younger alumnus is is Bill Simmons, right,
so wrote for ESPN and
of course started out
as one of these great
bloggers and for years he had
a Friday column where he
made all his predictions
for the NFL, right?
This is a guy that literally spent,
he was clearly an addictive personality,
and he would spend 80 hours
a week watching sports,
writing about sports, reading sports,
and he makes his predictions.
This is a guy who knows
way more about sports
than anyone in here can ever
possibly hope to to the point
again, ESPN hired him to
run an entire division.
He and his entire history as a
sports prognosticator went 500, right?
Against the line, all right?
It went 500 against the line, right?
Smartest Holy Cross person
in history in terms of
or at least the with the most knowledge
about the NFL in history,
and he can’t beat the line, all right?
But he always thought he could.
He kept writing about it, it’s like
“This year is here I’m
going to beat the line,”
and he never could.
– That’s an interesting thing.
Whether or not skilled, again,
there’s actually a distinction made
between skill gambling and and
I’ll say unskilled gambling.
Unskilled gambling is
going to a slot machine
and just pulling the thing and off we go,
whereas there is a certain amount of skill
with sports betting,
but I wonder which way
and I don’t know, I’d be interesting, yes,
to figure which one’s more addictive.
– Other things you worry
about that are at stake here?
– Well, I guess my
number one thing here is
will the state for instance,
at least for casino gambling right now,
the state of Massachusetts says it’s 2%
of the revenue they make with casinos
is going to go to compulsive gambling.
Which, that’s reasonable.
It helps some of the problem.
But, I truly wonder, I mean,
what sports gambling would
do to a college campus,
it’s going to…
Fantasy sports is good, I mean,
how many here play fantasy sports?
– Yeah.
– All right.
– And a bunch of the other people.
– I see a lot of hands like this.
– A bunch of the people
who aren’t here tonight,
aren’t here because they’re
dealing with their team.
– Yeah, so.
– I think it’ll be interesting.
What will happen to fantasy sports
when you have regular
legalized sports gambling?
– Yeah I think the interesting things
are now from the other, from
the business standpoint, right,
so we’ve kind of talked a bunch about
the risk to individuals
and society in general
when we’re talking about problem gambling.
I think what’s interesting is going,
to what’s also interesting
is how this is going to
affect the sports business
themselves, right?
We’ve seen a world where
essentially all sports were against,
in the United States at least,
were against sports gambling
because of the concern about corruption.
And of course for a lot of
these folks they were only
giving lip service to
being against this, right?
Think about the NCAA.
The NCAA is extremely
anti-gambling for a variety of
reasons we’ll talk about in a moment.
That being said, how in the world is it
that the NCAA can sell March Madness for
six billion dollars a year.
Why is CBS willing to pay
six billion dollars to
broadcast a bunch of
college basketball games?
And I think we can easily
answer that, right?
Why can CBS afford to
pay six billion dollars?
Because they know they’re
going to get a ton of viewers.
Why in the world do a ton of
people tune into March Madness?
– The office pool.
– Because they filled
out the bracket, right?
Okay.
The reason the March
Madness is far and away
the biggest revenue generator
for the NCAA overall.
It’s not necessarily the
biggest revenue generator
for like individual schools,
but for the overarching NCAA
organization, they essentially
make all of their money
selling the men’s basketball tournament.
Everything else is peanuts, okay?
They make all their money
on this, which mind you,
Holy Cross gets a big piece
of that chunk of that change, right?
For every sport we offer
NCAA cuts us a check and
gives it to us, right?
For every game the Patriot League
wins in the tournament
over the past six years,
the NCAA gives the Patriot League a check
and the Patriot League
gives us a check, right?
We flat out get money
from this, and why does it
sell for six billion dollars?
Again, sells for six
billion dollars because
everyone tunes in because
everyone wants to know
whether my ten is going
to upset that seven,
and man, I can’t believe
that the team I had
in the Final Four got
eliminated on day one.
All right?
That’s right, everyone
here is like “Yeah, yeah.
“That happened to me last season.”
Right, okay?
Of course and the NCAA knows this.
NFL had said “Look, we don’t
like this gambling either.
“Could throw games, but boy
they love fantasy football.”
Right?
Well, I tune into the Jets Giants, ah,
because I got Eli Manning,
boy with that dumb pick
for my team, right, okay?
Because you’ve got those, right,
and they know that that’s
a huge generator there.
The question is how do the
leagues weigh off those benefits?
From getting those extra viewers
compared to that cost of corruption.
– Even the NFL is by far,
the NFL is the betting league.
It’s the idea, it’s the,
pro football is by far the
best betting, think about it.
– Revenue total?
– Also for a bettor, I mean
there’s 16 league games
then you got the playoffs.
But it’s so much more, ’cause I mean,
think about betting of regular
Major League Baseball game.
You have no idea, and maybe the guy
who’s going to start the
pitching and all this other–
but football is by far, it
is the ideal betting sport.
And it’s really interesting, and when you,
oh, by the way, when you look at Vegas,
less than 2% of Vegas’ revenue
comes from sports betting.
It’s not, for casinos it’s
really not a big thing.
It’s not at all.
It’s less than 2% of their revenue.
Ironically, as Victor,
they love March Madness.
Because people do like
to be in Vegas and bet.
And what they get a big kick out of is
if you’re a Louisville
alumni you think it’s your
school’s duty that you’re
going to bet on Louisville.
And people make stupid bets,
because they have a
loyalty to their school.
And that’s another.
But as one of the executives
of one of the casinos
said to me “Well it’s like
having peas in a supermarket.
“I guess we just have to have it.”
They don’t make, that’s
not they would much rather
you lose your money on a
slot machine than sports bet.
But they have it.
Now if it went online, that’s
a whole different ball game.
There’s the thing.
If sports betting goes online,
where everybody can get in it,
that’s going to be a different ball game.
– The question is, I think
one of the questions is,
how much fear should
the major sports leagues
in the United States have?
One of the reasons why
the NFL particularly likes
fantasy football, right,
again, gets people interested
in all these different games.
But it’s also a type of betting
that is least prone to corruption.
Because there’s very
little that an individual
player can do that to
throw a game that somehow
helps a fantasy football, I mean,
so imagine you want to bribe someone
because you’re going to put a ton of money
on the Giants, right,
and I want to bribe
someone so I win that bet.
I can bribe someone on
the Jets to lose that,
to lose that game for me.
That we have corruption possible, right?
It’s much harder to
figure out how you fix a
fantasy football league for someone to
make thousands of dollars for them
and fix it in such a way
that it’s bad for the league.
If you fix it in such a way
that I want you to score
a ton of touchdowns here this
weekend that’s not a problem.
Any football player’s fine with that
and any team is fine
with that, right, okay?
It’s when you’re acting in,
not in the best interest of your team
or you’ve got problems.
Fantasy football is a little
bit immune to that, right?
For example, when Delaware
was allowed to offer
some limited sports gaming
before the Supreme Court decision,
very specifically they
were being allowed to
offer fantasy sports type things,
and they were also being allowed to offer
not individual game betting,
but game betting on like
10 or 15 games at a time.
Again, really hard to
bribe enough people to
get enough things to
break your way, right?
Furthermore the NFL doesn’t
have to worry quite as much
about corruption, because Tom
Brady is not throwing games.
Okay?
Why is Tom Brady not throwing games?
Because he makes 22 million dollars a year
just in NFL salary,
and he’s the smaller earner
in his household, right?
Okay, so Tom Brady is not throwing games
because it would be almost impossible
for a corrupt gambler to
give Brady enough money
that it’s in his best
interest to do so, okay?
LeBron James is not on the take, okay?
Again, because no one can
give LeBron James enough money
for LeBron James to risk his job
and his reputation and
his endorsements, right?
On the other hand, and I
know he doesn’t play anymore,
but no one can also the guys
who aren’t making so much money
in the NBA, I always used
Brian Scalabrine just because
he’s just such a strong,
good part a good part of my soul,
but Brian Scalabrine, not
making a lot of money.
Potentially, you could
bribe him with enough money.
But given the fact that he
averaged 0.8 minutes a game
during his NBA career,
he can’t do enough to actually
influence games, right?
There’s essentially no one in the NBA
that you can bribe
because they either make
too much money or they have
too little impact on games.
And the same thing with the NFL.
Same thing with NHL, same thing
with Major League Baseball.
Really hard to do that.
Again, because there is
too much money in the sport
when Shoeless Joe Jackson, through the,
was part of the the conspiracy
to throw the 1919 World Series,
the reason they threw the game
was because they were getting
paid nothing by their owner.
And these guys were basically
earning kind of minimum
wage sort of jobs, okay?
I don’t think we I don’t
think any of the pro leagues
are particularly worried about
corruption in their sport,
which is why the NBA has come out flat-out
strongly in favor of just
open gambling on their games.
The NFL has purchased an
interest in some of their,
in some of the fantasy sports.
Major League Baseball is
probably to be the last of those.
That being said, the one big league
that is still vehemently
against gambling entering in,
to legalize gambling entering in,
is the NCAA, right?
Because the NCAA is uniquely
vulnerable to corruption.
And of course why is the NCAA
uniquely vulnerable to corruption?
They brought it on themselves, right?
By prohibiting payment to athletes, right?
When you have athletes
making nothing, right?
When you have big programs
making millions of dollars
on these athletes who are making nothing,
and the vast majority of
athletes making nothing
and having no hope of
any ever making anything
as a professional athlete,
all of a sudden “Hey, here’s
$1,200 to throw the game.
“See what you can do.”
All of a sudden, that
looks pretty attractive.
$1,200 to LeBron James, right, I mean he’s
got a little stacks of hundreds
next to his fireplace that he can throw in
on those cold LA days, right?
$1,200 doesn’t do it.
$1,200 to a poor college athlete
all of a sudden that
looks pretty attractive.
It’s understandable why the NCAA
is justifiably concerned about the
expansion of legalized gambling.
Because they are,
of the big spectator sports
in the United States,
they are uniquely, uniquely
at-risk for the real,
the real problem there
from a business standpoint of gambling.
– Well, the problem for it,
for the NCAA is also one that,
yeah, you do have the schools
that make the millions.
But then you have most
of the other schools,
if they had to pay their athletes,
it’s going to be interesting,
I mean, then they couldn’t,
they would be out of it.
It’s an interesting problem, I mean yeah,
the Michigans and the Ohio states and all,
they make money on
their athletic programs.
– Oh, right.
– Lots of lots of
schools do not make money
on their athletic programs whatsoever.
If they start, that’s going
to be an interesting thing,
I mean in other words there’s probably–
– Including Holy Cross we should say
don’t make money on that, including BC.
– BC does not make money on that,
I’ll tell you that much right now.
They do not make money.
You have it–
– How many schools do make money?
– Out of 341, I heard
the last count I heard
it was between 30 to 40 make money.
– Notre Dame they once told
me they made 60 million a year
at one point, that was awhile ago, yeah.
That was the 90’s.
– Yeah, and I’m sure they do.
– They’re the end of the bell curve.
– It’s an interesting.
Do I think the NCAA has much of a future?
Probably not.
Because of this issue.
You’re going to have the schools
that can pay the athletes
and they’ll form their own league.
And then maybe that’s
what should happen anyway.
Let’s face it, I mean, that’s
what probably should happen.
We have the schools that
want to do the big-time thing
and pay their athletes,
and those who just sit there and say
“Okay, we’ll do it this way.”
– Who are actually schools?
– Well, it’s an interesting problem,
it’s really going to be
an interesting problem.
– Again, to sort of go back around,
it’s an interesting
problem that’s exacerbated
in a world where sports
gambling is more ubiquitous,
is more common, again
because that places colleges
at risk to corruption issues.
We all know, why is the
University of Kentucky,
yeah, the big powerhouse
and then New York University
not a big powerhouse in basketball?
Again if we were to
rewind the clock 70 years
1950s New York University and
all those New York schools
among the tops in the league,
until they were all busted
for point-shaving in the 50’s,
one of the biggest corruption scandals
in American sports history.
– What’s at stake for colleges?
Is it reputation, is that other things?
What do you look at, say for
whether a big league school
or sort of big league
school like Holy Cross?
How do we, or is there
less at stake for us
than Louisville or Kentucky?
– Well, that’s an
interesting, I mean, because
once you have, for all
it’s, I’ll throw BC, I mean,
we have a football stadium.
You have an infrastructure that’s there.
We can’t get out of big-time sports now.
There’s just no way we could do that.
Because if we did, we’d be
sitting here with all that…
– There’s a new capital
campaign for it, but–
– No, but we have a new
field house, and da-da-da-da.
And it certainly attracts
students, I won’t deny that.
Whether or not alumni,
or that’s always going to be interesting,
I’ve not quite figured
out that there’s a…
– Yeah, so it’s hard to know from again,
back to the gambling,
it’s hard to know who’s more at risk.
In today’s world where no one is paid,
a Kentucky is far more
at risk than a Holy Cross
for two reasons.
First of all, if people stop
going to Kentucky games,
Kentucky basketball games,
that’s a massive revenue hit for Kentucky
that they suffer a 20% fall in attendance,
that’s millions of dollars
in cash that they hemorrhage.
If Holy Cross suffers a
20% loss in attendance,
that’s not nearly the
same sort of cash hit.
The other thing that makes Kentucky more,
gives under bigger jeopardy is
if someone bribes someone on
the University of Kentucky
$10,000 to throw a game,
and then the way the
course they’re going to
make their $10,000 back is by
betting $100,000 on the game,
with the sort of action that you see
on a normal Kentucky game,
you might be able to hide $100,000 of bets
without raising huge eyebrows, right?
If someone bribed a Holy Cross student
$10,000 to throw a Holy
Cross Bucknell game, right,
and then all of a sudden,
start made a $100,000 of bets
on a Holy Cross Bucknell game,
that would raise huge flags
especially in a world where
we have legalized gambling
and all of those bets are
going to be public knowledge
somewhere and transparent
so that those can be discovered, right?
You have a much higher chance of being
able to hide an unusual betting pattern
with University of Kentucky
or University of Michigan
than you would with a Holy Cross.
Again, I think two reasons
why the big programs
are certainly at much more jeopardy,
well and of course, we’re
not going to throw any games
at BC or Holy Cross, because we think
the mission of Holy Cross
and BC is very important
and we are men and women for others,
and we would never throw a game anyway.
Let’s just make sure we throw that in.
– The whole thing with with that,
I mean I would probably say,
for instance in the Boston area,
when the casino opens in that area,
if that is the only spot
where people can bet,
which is the other thing
we haven’t really talked about that,
where are you going to roll out betting?
Is it just going to be a
casino, just a horse track?
Right now, that’s
basically what’s going on.
But what on college campus are
you then going to, all right,
I think most schools pride themselves
if they don’t block
anything on the internet.
When you have sports gambling,
would you start saying
“All right, we are going to start blocking
“sports bets on the internet.
“We’ll start blocking things.”
I mean that’s an interesting,
and I had to give a talk
to the college presidents
in the Boston area
and I said that to them
they immediately said
“My, that’s something we
don’t want to consider.”
I said “Well, you better have.”
Because what are you going to do?
Are you going to let your student bodies,
are you going to allow people to start
betting on the internet in the dorms?
Or do you block it?
You could, so that’s that’s
an interesting ques–
typical ethical, but we
have order versus freedom.
How much freedom do you want to allow,
or do you order it by saying
“All right, no.
“We won’t allow you to
access to those things.”
It’s an interesting question.
Now, it wouldn’t mean,
now I can’t imagine the typical student
they wouldn’t go off-campus and say
“Okay, I can bet off-campus.”
That’s like to see the
Starbucks immediately saying,
or Dunkin’s, no longer Dunkin Donuts,
it’d be interesting to see
what would you would do.
– [Tom] I’m going to turn
it to questions in a minute.
I think of the lottery, it’s
been said that the lottery
is a tax on people who are either poor
or don’t know how to do math–
– Mathematically illiterate.
– [Tom] Who will bear the
brunt, who bears the brunt of
this on sports gambling?
Is there a segment of the population?
– Sure, I’ll tell Victor.
I did a multiple regression,
figuring various factors.
Interesting thing is,
the states were probably
where there’ll be the
biggest sports gambling
will be the states that have
a higher percentage of white population.
And in the regression analysis that I did,
the coefficients between
Hispanic and black
were actually negative on sports gambling.
Whereas the white population, definitely.
It’s really, it’s the one
form of gambling would I
probably say that doesn’t pry on the poor.
It’ll pry on the middle class.
– [Tom] In the lottery, the argument is
it takes money out of
poor communities and then
redistributes it as education
to wealthy communities even.
It’s a regressive tax against the poor,
but the opposite for sports gambling.
– That’s not advocating “Oh,
sports gambling is great–“
– [Tom] No, I got that, yeah, but okay.
– You’d be ripping off the middle class,
but it would probably be
more of a middle class thing.
– [Victor] I don’t have
any data about that,
that’s my gut as well, yeah.
– I’ll show you the regression so–
(laughter)
No, it’s interesting.
– [Tom] Questions, comments,
things you all want to ask about?
– [Audience] I’m kind of
interested in the mechanics
of gambling, if it’s legalized,
if it’s state-sponsored,
and when we come to the bookies
coming out of the shadows all of a sudden.
They have government line makers?
How does that work?
– It would depending on the,
alright there would be two different,
you could, you get all right,
you could get a license from the state
just like everything else.
In other words, you can’t
sell liquor unless you
get liquor license from the state,
so clearly the state could be, all right,
you will pay a certain amount to get a
license to, that’d be one model.
In other words, you would have it
be a product just like a casino.
– [Audience] Anybody could become a bookie
if they pay for the license?
– Well, it’d be how many
licenses they will allow
– [Tom] Like marijuana
growers, or something?
– Just like the marijuana
thing is right now.
Or you could do the New Hampshire thing,
where New Hampshire has state stores.
It’s the only thing, so the
state is the only one who
sells you either hard booze
or wine in New Hampshire.
You could have the state which
set up its own betting power.
In Spain, that’s the way Spain does it.
The Spanish government sets
up its own betting powers,
as Victor pointed out in Great Britain,
no, no, no, no it’s private betting power.
There’s various models you could do it,
depending on what you want to do.
Once it goes online, that’s a whole other.
– [Victor] Yeah, so my guess is
what we’re going to see in the
vast majority of states here at least in
the next two years, three
years, very near time frame
is that the vast majority
of states that have casinos
are going to legalize sports gambling
and allow any existing
casino to offer a sports book
within their casino,
following whatever regular regulations
that casinos generally have to follow,
and sharing some portion of that
revenue they generate with
the state in terms of taxes.
That’s easy, because
all that infrastructure
is already in place,
you already have relationships
between the regulators and the casinos,
and so that’s easy.
And that’s what’s happening already.
It’s either at the horse tracks
or the Race-inos they
call them, or casinos,
and that’s what’s going to be first.
Then there is likely or
at least possible that
states are going to say “We
can do better than this,
“and we shouldn’t just limit
sports gambling to casinos
“and horse tracks, we could expand these
“to allow kind of anyone to have that.”
Just like you can buy
lotto tickets in a hundred,
in thousands of small retail
locations around the state.
Why not expand that and allow
7-Eleven to sell these things
or allow individual standalone shops
to open up that have that.
And of course that’s like
the Great Britain Model.
And so no reason to think
that that wouldn’t happen,
but that’s going to be,
that’s one step harder,
to figure out how to create the
licensing and the regulation around that.
– The people who are going,
who are going to bet a
lot are going to be on,
they’re going to want the name schools,
so the Kentuckys and people like that.
I doubt that bookies take
a lot, it would take a lot,
– [Tom] Say Assumption.
– Yeah, yeah, Assumption.
Or something like.
Or a Merrimack, or something like that,
it’s just not going to happen.
For the most part, there’s
an economies of scale that
they’re going to, that the bookies,
remember, they’re going to
want to spread out the bets
to you, or the bookies
themselves don’t want
all the money on one game on
one team and everything else.
They’re going to want to spread out.
They actually spread things out like that,
and they actually help each other out.
It’s the way it does work,
it’s how the bookies–
Bookies have to cooperate
with one another.
And so now, once it
comes to the state level,
that’s going to be a
whole different ball game,
but I would probably, it’s just,
I just don’t see where there’s,
for the smaller schools,
as Victor said earlier,
I don’t think you have as much
to worry about, really don’t.
– [Victor] Yeah so remember this is so,
at the economics of crime is all about,
“What can I make if I,
“what can I make if I do something illegal
“versus what are the
potential costs to me, right?”
Okay what I make is either
what I’m making on that
bet mice that I make myself
or the payment from the
from the illegal betters
who are going to profit from that, right?
That’s what I make.
What I lose is the
chance of getting caught
and what I lose when I get caught, right?
If there’s a high chance
of me getting caught
like at again with the Holy Cross example,
hard to hide a big big bet there.
What’s my chance of getting
caught and what do I lose?
so if I’m an NBA Draft Lottery guy,
even though I’m not making any money now,
I’m probably not throwing games either,
because even though I’m
getting ripped off now,
I at least have millions of dollars
of career in front of me.
Probably if I’m in the Mafia
trying to figure out who to bribe, right?
I’m looking for a starter on
a Power Five conference team.
I’m looking for a starter
who’s playing 30 35 minutes,
but is the fourth best
player on that team, right?
That player does not have high
long-term earnings capacity,
but plays enough minutes
and contributes enough
that they can change
the outcome of the game
by going O for seven or going over one
at exactly the right time of the game
and plays for big enough program
that an influx of money from the Mafia
or whoever this group is,
it can be hidden so that
the red flags aren’t up.
That’s again, yeah, if I’m that guaranteed
number one pick in the draft next year,
I’m not throwing games either,
but look for those important role players
on good teams but, again,
even at Kentucky everyone’s
getting into the NBA, right?
– [Tom] In the back?
– [Audience] What about referees?
They’re not guaranteed to be paid well?
– [Victor] That’s exactly right.
First of all, referees are never corrupt,
just so we’re very clear about that.
We’re probably the most ethical
and best-looking profession
in the United States.
– But yeah, the NBA had it,
there were two incidents
where referees threw the game,
– [Victor] And again and think about
this whole idea what we’re talking about
is the reason why you’re
bribing a an official,
first of all, they have
a big role in the game,
so they can do a lot to make
sure the game goes the way
that you want to go,
and what they’re potentially giving up
is not Tom Brady’s 22 million dollars
or LeBron James’ 30
million dollars a year.
They’re giving up $150,000 a year job.
Now that’s, there’s a risk there.
$150,000 is good cash when
you’re Tim Donaghy, right?
– [Tom] Or a college professor.
– [Victor] Or a college
professor, obviously.
But you make those payments high enough
and he can go there, but yeah,
that’s why that’s why
we have tons of scandals
related to referees as opposed to players,
because referees are typically
significantly lower paid
than than the players.
– Yeah, well I mean there’s
going to be money to,
actually I think that the institution is
going to make the most money out of it,
it’s going to be the state governments.
– [Tom] Maybe MasterCard eventually.
– Well yeah, I think
MasterCard could be picked,
but clearly the state will probably,
I think it’s New Jersey
who wants to tax 25% of your winnings.
If you win $500 or more on a sports bet,
you’re going to lose
25% right off the start,
so the state’s going to
make out pretty well.
I hate to say it, but if
you think about the state
why legalizing sports gambling
is the number one thing
it’s looking forward to revenue.
I think the second thing
they’d like to do away
with the black market.
And then they can control
consumption, but yeah.
And from the casinos’ point of view,
it’s not that, again, I
can’t emphasize enough,
they’re not, they want
it because they think
they’ll come in to do other
things, but they really,
they’re not that excited
for you to sit there
and play sports gambling.
It’s not…
– [Victor] Yeah, that’s
almost certainly true.
Probably one of the biggest reasons
for a casino to want a sports book
is so that you drop a hundred bucks
at the slot machines on
your way to the sports book
on the way in and out.
It’s not the money you’re dropping
into the sports book probably.
I will say that it’s an
interesting point about
what really is gambling
and what do we look down upon and not.
There is an old saying that
the gambling known as business
looks at with significant disfavor
at the business known as gambling.
I added up the other day
the number of English Premier League teams
that have a lot, a sports book,
a gambling business on their jersey.
And it’s either 10 or 11.
It’s 10 if you’re
looking at pure gambling.
It’s 11 if you also count the firm Forex,
which is the largest platform
for trading foreign exchange.
And a typical economist would say
that is no different than gambling.
That is pure gambling, it’s not investing.
It’s just gambling with a
financial sheen over it,
because normal people don’t make money
betting on foreign
exchange rate movements.
You can make a fairly good argument that
gambling in the stock
markets a little different,
because you keep putting money
into a diversified portfolio
of stocks over time,
and on average and over time
you’re going to come out
with a positive net expected value,
as opposed to putting money over time
and a regular basis into
a diversified portfolio
of NFL bets will have a negative
negative net value for you.
That’s at least one difference
between sports gambling and
gambling in the stock market.
But of course in some ways
they’re they’re pretty similar.
– Let’s see, I don’t know if there’s,
I think getting back to your question,
it’ll be interesting if
there ever be a nationwide
sports book, that’d be interesting.
Maybe somebody would, eventually–
– [Tom] An American Ladbrokes.
– Well, or would the states
get together and like they’ll
go for Powerball
Megabucks, and get together
and all the states get together and say
“All right, we’ll have a nationwide
“states will sponsor, sports book.”
That would be interesting
if they would do that,
I don’t know.
I don’t know if the
states want to cooperate.
It’s interesting the
states have cooperated
with Powerball and Megabucks,
that’s also because the lottery was dying
and so they had to do something
to get interest in it.
Now whether or not you have to
get interest in sports game,
I don’t think I have to worry about that.
There’ll always be interested
in sports gambling.
– [Tom] Anybody else?
Anything important we’ve left out?
– [Audience] Father, you
have a meeting next week
with Karen Toledo and Charlie Baker,
and they’re looking at
a radiant spokesman.
As a Jesuit, what do you tell them about–
– Thanks to…
They’re immediately going to probably say
“All right, we’re going to be surrounded
“by other states that are going to do it.”
Rhode Island’s already going to do it,
Connecticut’s going to do it soon.
What are we in other words,
that’s going to be one
thing right off the start.
I would probably say
if you do legalized sports gambling,
especially in the Boston area,
with all those colleges
and everything, all right?
What ways are you, going to how
much money are you going to spend
in trying to deal with the
compulsive gambling situation,
and in what ways are you going
to help the various colleges
deal with that problem?
Are you going to challenge the colleges
to deal with the problem?
Because I don’t think, most colleges,
just went and ducked their
heads about the whole issue,
and they don’t really want to
deal with it quite honestly.
But I think you’ve got that,
if I’m Charlie Baker and
I’m looking for revenue,
no that’s that’s, it’ll
be, it’ll probably,
it’s kind of interesting this thing,
and I just got finished
doing a paper about this.
The reason why we have
we have casino gambling
in Massachusetts is because
a Democratic governor
was the one who, was Deval
Patrick who finally said
“Let’s have casinos.”
It’s the two Republican
governors before time
tried to get it and they never
got through with legislature.
Well it was kind of like Nixon going in,
he’s the only person
that could ever recognize
China was a Republican president.
It’s interesting, the
first time to have casinos,
it’s a Democratic governor
who said it was all right.
Now, sports gambling, that’s a different,
it’ll be interesting with Charlie Baker.
I don’t know if Charlie Baker
would be all that enthused
about doing that at first right now, but–
– [Tom] You’ve also said
you’re not a prohibitionist.
– No, so that’s the other thing.
I would just say “All right,
if you’re going to do it,
“let’s try to protect
people as much as you can.”
– [Tom] And what would
your recommendations be for protection?
– Well…
– [Tom] Where would you say
they do it well, or do it badly,
or here’s the model.
– Well, that’s one of the things I think
that you have to ask
yourself right off the start,
is who, how are you
going to issue licenses,
where are you going to put these things.
In other words, try to keep it
out of poorer neighborhoods,
because again the people who
are most likely going to do it
are going to be, so for once I would like
Wellesley to get their share
of the sports gambling.
– [Tom] Suck money out of Wellesley?
– Yeah, although I was going
to make a crack about Dover.
But Dover’s the only, there’s
351 towns in Massachusetts,
and Dover is the only town.
It takes no money from the lottery and
it doesn’t allow any lottery
tickets to be sold there.
Of course there’s more horses than
there are people in Dover,
but that’s beside the point.
Off you go.
I guess set up the
protection for people, just,
I think it’s the same thing
that’s going on with marijuana.
How are you going to protect people?
Make and tax it up to
right, in thing like that.
In other words, the other
thing I would probably say
is hopefully you can put
the bookies out of business.
And set up a fair game
that the people could,
that they wouldn’t get ripped off.
– [Tom] You might be at a loss for words,
but would you tell them?
Not likely you’d be at a loss.
– [Victor] I think it’s
pretty similar to Rich, right?
I would certainly have no
problems with legalizing,
it as a matter of fact, I would
advise they legalize that.
I would do the easy step first and say
“Let our existing casinos
sell that if they want to
“and that those are the
licenses I would sell first.”
We can talk about expanding
licenses beyond that later
and I don’t know necessarily
whether I’d say yes or no on that,
but I think it’s an easy step to allow
our existing casinos
that are coming online,
that are online now in Springfield
and coming online in other places.
Go for it, however, when you tax it,
you’d better be putting some of that money
immediately back into gambling treatment,
because we know that’s an issue and again,
Rich has brought me around
that I think this may be
uniquely a uniquely addictive
product for certain people.
– [Tom] Alright one last question.
– It’s funny how people don’t,
if you’re if you’re a team
member and you bet for your team,
people think about that differently than,
I have to do that myself,
if a player bet against their team
and if we’re on the team,
somehow I think there’s,
I guess it’s worse.
– [Victor] Oh well, it’s far worse right?
Because the whole point is you
want people to be trying hard
and if they bet on their own team,
you figure they, it hasn’t
changed how people are behaving.
You want your team to play hard,
so probably no problem with that.
You don’t want people to lose on purpose,
and that’s, so you understand that.
– With the Pete Rose thing,
people were saying that he knew
what games he was betting on,
so he would make sure that
certain release pitchers were used,
that gave him a better chance.
And if he didn’t bet on that game,
he used the other relief
pitchers that might,
there was there some accusation
of Pete Rose about that.
About the way he managed a game
was differently when he
had money on the game
– [Victor] Yeah so it’s
almost certain that all
that even where leagues,
even where gambling is legal,
that you want to prohibit
your own employees in leagues
from engaging in that gambling
for all sorts of potential
problems associated with that.
And even in again, the UK,
where there’s seemingly
a sports betting shop on every corner,
you know the EPL does prohibit their own
players from engaging in that.
When I was a referee
for Major League Soccer,
not only was I not allowed
to bet on Major League Soccer games,
obviously, but I was
actually encouraged to
not even go into casinos
with a sports book,
simply because of the
potential worry about
that, and again in a day
like, it in a world like now,
where there’s social media,
I think that even more strongly advised
to not engage in that.
– Well, it’ll be interesting,
when you mentioned Pete Rose,
as sports betting because
more and more common,
I wonder how much it’s going to be allowed
to let him in the Hall of Fame.
They’re saying if all
societies are doing it,
but we’ll see.
– [Tom] Well, thank you, both of you.
Thanks everyone for being here.
(applause)
I learned a few things

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