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Last May, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the 1992 legislation that prohibited sports betting in the majority of states (Nevada enjoyed an exception). When that happened, the floodgates for legalized sports betting across the nation opened up–Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island became the first to permit betting on the outcome of a game, but they’re not going to be the last.
Texas-based documentary filmmaker and UT graduate Bradley Jackson, who made the surprise hit Dealt, about a blind San Antonio card shark, spent much of the previous six months immersed in the world of sports gambling due to their followup to this undertaking. Reteaming with Dealt director Luke Korem and fellow manufacturer Russell Wayne Groves (in addition to showrunner David Check), Jackson produced the four-part Showtime documentary series Action, which monitored the winners and winners of the 2018-19 NFL season–maybe not those on the area, but those in the match, wagering a small fortune on the results of the games being played. Texas Monthly caught up with Jackson in advance of this series‘ final episode to talk about sports gambling, daily dream, and what the chances are that Texas allows fans to place a bet on game day within the upcoming few years.
Texas Monthly: What did you learn from this job?
Bradley Jackson: How big of a business this is. I meanyou see the amounts and they are just astronomical. In the opening paragraph of this show, when we are showing all these people gambling on the Super Bowl, that just on the Super Bowl alone, I think it’s like six billion bucks. But the caveat to this stat is that just 3% of that is legal wagering. That means 97 percent of action wagered on the Super Bowl is prohibited. That amount from Super Bowl weekend was one of the very first stats I watched when we were getting into this project, and it blew my mind. And then you look at the real numbers of how much is really bet in America, and it’s billions and billions of dollars–and so much of this is illegal wagering. So it feels like it’s one of those things everybody is doing, however, nobody really talks about.
Texas Monthly: Did working on this job inspire you to place any bets?
Bradley Jackson: Yeah. I hadn’t ever done it, and now that I’ve spent six months embedded in this world, I have made a couple–low-stakes stuff, just to find that sense of what it is like. And it’s fun, especially when you’re wagering a sensible level –but the feelings are still there. I’m a very mental person, so when I lost my fifty-dollar UT vs. OU bet, I genuinely felt awful for approximately an hour. Because of course I bet on UT, therefore when OU won, it hurt not just because my team dropped –it hurt even more that I dropped fifty bucks.
Texas Monthly: Do you have a feeling of when placing a bet like that in Texas might be legal?
Bradley Jackson: We live in a state that’s obsessed with sports–football especially. And nothing brings people’s attention over betting on soccer, particularly the NFL. I believe finally Texas can perform some sort of sports gambling. I don’t know how long it’s likely to take. I believe that they’ll do it in cellular, since I do not think we will see casinos in Texas, actually. I have been hearing that maybe Buffalo Wild Wings is going to do some type of pseudo sports betting stuff, so you might go to Buffalo Wild Wings and get in your telephone and set a fifty-dollar wager on the Astros, and I feel that will be legal one day. Probably sometime in the next five decades.
Texas Monthly: With this industry being enormous, illegal, and so largely untaxed, to what extent do you believe gambling as a source of untapped revenue for the state plays into matters?
Bradley Jackson: That will play hugely into it. From a monetary point of view, it’s huge. Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, was sort of on the forefront of the. He wrote an editorial to the New York Times about four years ago where he said we need to take sports betting out of the shadows and bring it into the light. That way you may tax it, which is always great for the states, but you can also make sure it’s done over board. Once the Texas legislature sniff really how much money can be taxed, it is a no-brainer.
Texas Monthly: The prohibited bookie which you talk to in the documentary says that legalization doesn’t affect his organization. What was that like for you to learn?
Bradley Jackson: It blew me away. When we had been sketching out the characters we wanted to attempt to identify to put in the show, an illegal bookie was definitely on very top of our listing. Our assumption was that this will hurt them. We believed we were going to find some New Jersey illegal bookie whose bottom line was likely to be very hurt by all this. When we met this man, it was the exact opposite. He was like,“I’m not sweating in any way.“ It really shocked me. He did say he believes that if every state goes, if that becomes 100 percent legal in every nation, then he think that he could be impacted. However he works out of this Tri-State region, and now it is only legal in New Jersey, and just in four or five spots. He breaks it down really well in the end of our first episode, where he simply says,“It is convenient and it is charge –both C will never go off.“ Having a illegal bookie, you can lose fifty million dollars on credit, and that can really negatively affect your life. Sometime you can still harm yourself betting legally, but you can’t bet on credit via lawful channels. If casinos start letting you wager on charge, then I think his bottom line could get hurt. The longer it’s a part of this national conversation, the more money he gets, as people are like,“Oh, it’s legal, right?“
Texas Monthly: Is daily dream among the gateways to sports gambling? It feels like it is only a small variant on traditional gambling.
Bradley Jackson: In Episode 3, we follow one of the top five daily fantasy players in America. He’s a 26-year-old kid. He makes millions of dollars doing that. He told us that the most he has ever made was $1.5 million in 1 week. Among our hypotheses for the show was that the pervasiveness of daily fantasy was a gateway to the leagues letting legalized gambling to really happen. For years, you noticed the NFL state that sports gambling is the worst thing ever and they’d never allow it. And then about four years back daily fantasy like DraftKings and FanDuel began, and they purchased, I believe, 30,000 ad spots across the NFL Sunday platform. When you’re watching the NFL, any commercial was DraftKings or FanDuel. And a lot of folks were like,“Wait a minute, you guys say you think sports betting is the worst thing ever. What’s this not gaming?“ It is gambling. We actually interview the CEO of DraftKings, and two of the high-up people at FanDuel, and I believe that it’s B.S., however they say daily fantasy is not gambling, it is a game of skill. However, I really don’t think that’s true.
Texas Monthly: How individuals who make money do it will involve conducting huge quantities of teams to beat the odds, rather than choosing the guys they believe have the best matchups this week.
Bradley Jackson: Right. We filmed our daily dream player over a weekend of creating his bets, and he does not do well that weekend. And he talked about how what he is doing is a lot of ability, but every week you will find two or three plays which are completely random, and they either make his week ruin his week, which is 100 percent chance. This is an element of gambling, as you are putting something of monetary value up with an unknown outcome, and you don’t have any control over how that’s awarded. We see him literally lose sixty million dollars on a three-yard run by Ezekiel Elliott. It is the Cowboys-Eagles, and he says,“All I want is to get the Cowboys to perform nicely, but minus Ezekiel Elliott making any profits, after which you visit Zeke get, for example, a four-yard pass and he is like,“If one more of these happens, then I am screwed.“ And then there is this little two-yard pass away from Prescott to Elliott and he goes,“I simply dropped forty thousand dollars right there.“ And you watch $60,000 jump out of an account. There.
Texas Monthly: Ken Paxton has contended that daily fantasy is illegal in Texas. Are there cultural factors in the state which may make this more challenging to pass, or is something like that just a way of staking a claim to the cash involved?
Bradley Jackson: It might just be the pessimist in me, but think in the end of the day, a lot of it just boils down to money. An interesting case study is exactly what happened in Nevada. In Nevada they left daily dream illegal, which can be crazy, because gambling is legal in Nevada. Nevertheless, they made it illegal since the daily fantasy leagues wouldn’t cover the gaming tax. So it was like a reverse position, where Nevada said,“Hey, this is betting, so cover the gaming taxes,“ and DraftKings and FanDuel were like,“It’s not gambling.“ And so they didn’t come to Nevada. I really don’t think Texas will necessarily do it right off the bat, but I presume it in a couple years, once they determine just how much money there is to be made, and there are smart ways to start it, it’ll happen.

Read more: http://sestricka.com/the-korean-zombie-vs-renato-moicano-headlines-ufc-greenville

Action’ Producer Bradley Jackson on the Odds of Texas Legalizing Sports Gambling
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