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Counsel to the Sports Betting Alliance, Scott Ward on legalized gambling in the State of North Carolina. And the Wall of Sound featuring Howard Stern and Mad Dog Russo.

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June 23, 2022 12:39 am

Counsel to the Sports Betting Alliance, Scott Ward on legalized gambling in the State of North Carolina. And the Wall of Sound featuring Howard Stern and Mad Dog Russo.

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June 23, 2022 12:39 am

Counsel to the Sports Betting Alliance, Scott Ward on legalized gambling in the State of North Carolina. And the Wall of Sound featuring Howard Stern and Mad Dog Russo. 

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This is the Best of the Adam Gold Show Podcast, brought to you by Coach Pete at Capital Financial Advisory Group.

Visit us at Joining us now to talk about this issue, he is counsel to the Sports Betting Alliance, which includes several big sports entities, DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Bollies, other ones that you probably have heard of. He has seen the inside of this process, not only in North Carolina, but in other states.

We're going to ask him about what that looks like. His name is Scott Ward. Scott, thanks so much for joining us. How are you? I appreciate it. Happy to be on with you.

Scott, let's start here, because we've got to get to know you first of all. What kind of sports fan are you? What teams and sports do you pull for and follow?

Sure. I have a bit of an eclectic fan list. I'm a military bat. My father was in the Army for 30 years, so I collected teams as we moved around. I'm a Miami Dolphins fan from Dan Marino. I was a Washington Nationals season ticket holder for the first 10 years of their existence.

I now live in Nashville, so I'm a Nashville Predators season ticket holder. Okay, Dolphins, Nationals, and Predators. Yes, you are correct.

That is not a combination. You'll see very often. Yes, no one's going to accuse you of being a homer either. Those are not dominant franchises historically. Obviously, Dolphins had great years, the Nationals recently won a World Series, and Predators have had some good runs recently, along with the Hurricanes making Southern hockey cool and hip. We keep losing to the Hurricanes though, so we're doing okay. We like them. We know that you're a tried and true sports fan.

You didn't come in here and say Yankees, Cowboys, Duke Basketball, or whatever. Let's talk sports gambling. Specifically, we've been watching and hearing about possible sports betting in North Carolina for what feels like over two years now, maybe even longer, that it's at least been discussed in the North Carolina Legislature. Has it been a harder and longer process in North Carolina, or does it just feel like that and really all legislation is like it? But just because we've been watching the pot boil, it seems like it's taken longer on the sports betting thing. I think we've been having conversations with the Legislature for three years now, and that's not uncommon. 35 states have legalized sports betting. You may know that North Carolina is one of those. In 2019, the legislature legalized retail books at the travel casino.

So now we're talking about mobile. Three years is a long time. Other states did it quicker. Tennessee did it once, my home state.

But we're hopeful to get it over the finish line here next week. And yes, and thank you for mentioning. I did leave out the places where betting is already legal at the Cherokee sites. But yes, this is over the whole state.

I appreciate that. What has been the difference? You said it took a year in Tennessee.

I know it's interesting when it's come to sports betting. Not only in North Carolina, it's been like this in all places. It has not been playing by what are currently the rules of legislation where it's like every party is all in on things, and you try to pick off folks from the other side to couple your majority to pass stuff through, or whatever majority you need. Maybe you need something to get past a veto or whatever. Here, it's different alliances, both parties.

There's some in, some out. Is North Carolina just more complex than Tennessee right now, or what has been the process that has made it so difficult? You're absolutely right. Gambling in general tends to be non-partisan, and that's been true here in North Carolina. The coalition that's supporting this bill is both Democrats and Republicans for their various reasons. As you said, those traditional sort of party fights aren't happening. That's not to say that politics doesn't play a role in this.

It certainly does. We've seen it from both sides, and that's happened in a lot of states. In other states where there's a bigger majority in one party, sometimes it's not a partisan issue. It is a partisan issue, excuse me, but that's not been the case here.

It is non-partisan here in North Carolina. Scott Ward joining us. He's the counsel to the Sports Betting Alliance. As things stand right now, I'm not big on making predictions. I have no idea who's going to win avalanche lightning, but you have a little more insight as to how votes are lining up, how things are going. As things stand now, do you see a good chance that this is going to be the final push, and it will get through the House maybe this week, and we'll have legalized gambling, I believe, starting at the beginning of next year?

I do, if you'll forgive the horrible pun. If I was a betting man, I would say yes. We'll get it done next week. Are there any more hurdles right now?

Are there things that you could look for specifically of like, if it gets past this, or if this person stands down on it, then we should be good to go? Is the runway clear right now? We need to keep the coalition together, and thanks, Pop-Hop, as you go forward. We have one more committee hearing this afternoon, and then expect to be on the floor as early as tomorrow. There'll be a series of votes, and I'm sure you don't want to hear all the arcane procedural rules of the legislature, but there'll be a series of votes over the next three or four days when they're in session, so tomorrow and then next week. So I would expect the final vote to come sometime in the middle of next week, and we do feel pretty good about it right now.

Things always happen, and nothing scares me, but I do think we'll get it done. So you are a counsel for the Sports Betting Alliance, so obviously you are making the case, and you are pro sports betting, as am I. I want sports betting to come to North Carolina. There are a lot of folks who are like, hey, I would just like to be able to gamble legally and not have to go through the hassle of, you know, whatever, finding someplace to go or driving out of state, as you can do right now.

But beyond just the average guy or average girl who wants to place a bet, we know that the sports franchises in North Carolina are 100% on board. The Hornets, the Panthers, they're making the case that they're falling behind advantage-wise to markets that have sports gambling because fans are more engaged and staying longer at games where there's gambling, so we know that they're in on it. What are the other reasons why an average person who says, I don't even care about gambling, but why should they maybe think of it being a good thing even if they're not going to place a wager themselves? We think there's two primary reasons.

One, it's a freedom issue. As you said, people like doing it. People are doing it now, frankly. Many of your listeners who are betting on sports on websites maybe don't even know that those are illegal websites because those websites will tell you that they're not illegal. They are in the state of North Carolina. Other of your listeners are driving to Tennessee or Virginia to bet legally. Really, as I said, this is a freedom issue that North Carolinians should have the same rights that Virginians and Tennesseans have now to bet on their phone, do it in the comfort of their house. We've shown that it's safe in lots of those states. The other issue is consumer protection.

Obviously, those illegal websites provide no consumer protection, give you no ability to, you know, error grievance should something happen. And so you'll have that with legalized betting. And then finally, of course, tax it. Bring those tax dollars back to the state of North Carolina, able to fund good things with that. And obviously, what they do with the money, I leave that to the legislature. That's not my department. Adam Golden Studio with my man Coach Pete DeRuta with the Capital Financial Advisory Group.

We're talking retirement and coach. I'm a simple guy, but I like colors. Tell me how I can color code money and get ready for retirement. I like colors too. I like pictures. I like graphs. I don't like just a bunch of words. And so what we try to do is we try to break down all those words on your statement, all those numbers into three colors.

Red, green, yellow. People are amazed when they come in and most of their money is in the red category. Yeah, I don't want that. It's high horsepower potential. It also means high loss potential. So you have to, it's a give and take.

You want to do that or that? Yellow means liquid money. You can get it anytime.

It's not going to earn anything. Green gives you safe growth, but also gives you a lifetime income. As we get closer to retirement, we need some green accounts. We need the green zone, we call it. And Baghdad green zone was important. Green zone's important for you too. The next 10 people, Adam, it's a thousand dollar value, golden ticket. We're going to put together for you, your very own total plan that has a green zone. It's a traffic light. I hope it's green for you.

800-661-7383 or text ADAM to 21000 for coach Pete DeRuta. I've just been seeing this anecdotally, but it seems like every state that has started it has met or exceeded their expectations as far as the tax revenue discussed. Am I, is my anecdotal evidence backed up by actual data on that one? It's a little slow to start, as you might imagine, in the new market. You have to bring people in, you have to provide promotions and credits to people to come online and to do it, to come out of the legal market, to bet in the legal market.

And so it's a little bit slow to start, but yes, you are correct. Over the long haul, as the market matures, states are reaping the rewards of those tax dollars. Alright, just as a point of interest here, and this is, I'm tapping into your expertise, just as you've seen this, not only in North Carolina, but we're working on this across the country. I'm a native North Carolinian, right? So when I grew up, there was no sports betting anywhere. We saw casinos come to the Cherokee reservations, then they've added sports betting, but that's for somebody in Raleigh, North Carolina, that might as well be another state away, right?

Cherokee. So sports gambling, not really in my world. If I grew up in Pennsylvania or Kentucky, they may not have had legalized sports betting, but there were exceptions for things like horse racing and stuff like that. So there were businesses built around the horse racing industry that then, in many cases, expanded and became the businesses that now do the sports betting. You obviously have worked with national companies, so it will be no surprise when the, I believe it's 12 licenses that are provided for in the bill, that the big dogs that everybody hears about, DraftKings and FanDuel, are probably going to be, would be a good guess to be some of the first people jumping in the pool for sports gambling. Is there any way or was there any thought or any discussion given for a homegrown North Carolina business because we've never had any ability to run a business related to gambling? Again, no horse gambling business that we can now just grow a little bit. With nothing to start with, is there any chance for a homegrown North Carolina business to start a sports gambling business? Or do you expect it'll sort of all be snatched up by out-of-state and national entities that already exist and have the infrastructure? I hear your point.

Let me answer it this way. There's no limitation on a homegrown North Carolina business getting into the space of applying for a license. As you said, they are capped at 12. That was the decision of the legislature. Other states have different numbers. I think New Jersey has something in the high 20s in terms of operators operating in that state right now. Obviously a very different market. So there's no reason why a North Carolina business couldn't. I will tell you that, as you recognize, it would be difficult given the national companies that are involved. And the bill requires that the applicants show the ability to capitalize enough money to do these things, the experience, the technology to do all this stuff. So it would be very difficult, I admit, for a sort of mom-and-pop North Carolina shop to get up and running.

But that doesn't mean they couldn't do it. There is one in Tennessee. One in Tennessee did it. Now there was no cap in Tennessee, but there was a local business that got up and running. They have a very small market share, as you might imagine, but they did get up and running. I appreciate that context.

That's one of the things I saw too. We want people with experience. How can anybody get experience if you've never been able to run that kind of business before? Fair point.

No, but it'll be interesting. Obviously you want people who are good at what they do. When people want to bet, they're going to want to be able to do it right away. And the people who run it are going to be the people that are doing a good job nationally and obviously will provide us with that service here. Well, and I'm obviously biased, but your listeners want to use DraftKings and VanDuel and Ben and Jam and Bally's and the others that they've heard of and they know of. They're using it in other states right now.

Sure, sure. I also appreciate you giving us some context about comparison to other states where you said there's no cap on licenses in Tennessee or a high number of licenses in New Jersey, only 12 in North Carolina. Is there anything else in North Carolina where North Carolina is an outlier in terms of how they're providing the service or a scale or anything like that? Or are they basically in line with most of the other states as they've legalized gambling? It's in line.

All states kind of do it differently depending on their local politics and sort of what the norms are there. We think the North Carolina bill is a great bill. The sponsors have been working very hard on it. As I said, we've been talking for more than three years with interested parties and members from both files and really including a lot of different ideas. So we think it's a great bill and certainly hope it gets passed. If I can make a pitch for your listeners, as I said, we feel good about passing, but every little bit helps. So if your listeners out there want to let their legislator, their local North Carolina legislator, know that they want this to pass, if they could go to a website called, that's all one word,, and they can go in there and put their information in and get an email sent to their legislator saying, hey, please support these bills. We want sports betting in North Carolina.

And I think a lot of people listening do want sports betting like I do, Scott Ward, we appreciate your time. We appreciate your energy. Best of luck in getting this thing all the way to the finish line to use another bad sports fund. And hopefully we'll be able to bet on our teams next year and we'll see that come to North Carolina and done smartly too. So thank you and again, best of luck in your continued efforts. Great.

Great to talk to you. Scott Ward, the Council for the Sports Betting Alliance, it's been cool to see this as a legislative issue. And again, not only am I interested in it as a legislative nerd, but I like it that it's not just, well, the Democrats want it or just the Republicans want it. I think it's kind of cool when it's like, I don't know, there's some folks that feel this way about it. There's some folks that feel this way about it. There's, you know, this kind of question about it.

What about this angle? But also there is the pressure of if you're the last one, then you are watching revenues. I mean, as they said, right now, revenues are going overseas into illegal places. And if you get ripped off, there's nobody to go complain to. Right.

If DraftKings is operating in North Carolina under a license provided by the government and they rip you off or try not to pay you, then you can take the proper recourse and get that back, just like consumer protection, just like we had in other industries. And there is data, as I mentioned, things like they have done studies of attendance and length of stay at game by fans. And they are going up in markets where there's sports betting, as you would imagine. Right. If you're betting, I know some people say, well, this is going to take away from the outcome of the game because people aren't even going to care who wins. They just want to care what did the Panthers cover. Right.

But sometimes those intersect. Right. Like if the Panthers are down 14 and you'd normally lose, but you got the Panthers plus seven or whatever it is, you're like, well, I'm just saying stay and see if they score that touchdown. So now if more of those fans are staying and you cheer the Panthers on, they get a touchdown and then they're fired up and they get the onside kick.

Whatever. If if you believe that the crowd matters, then the crowd staying longer and being builder, being bigger matters. And that's something that they're able to prove right now in the sports betting markets.

Over the crossbar! And the Hurricanes have won the Stanley Cup! June 19th, 2006. But it all started May 6th, 1997, with the announcement that the Hartford Whalers were coming to North Carolina.

It's a story of transition, of heartbreak, of figuring it out on the fly. The Canes Corner look at the 25th anniversary of the move presented by the Aluminum Company of North Carolina. Listen now.

Find Cain's 25th anniversary wherever you get your podcast. We have interesting things that people have said. We collect them. We hang them on a wall. We call that wall, creatively, the wall of sound. The wall of sound is a function of this studio. There's no doubt about it.

All right. So again, pulling the curtain back here, talking about the show within the show. Graham, who chimed a little bit earlier and helped us out with halftime entertainment. Oh, you know what?

I forgot to ask Dennis Cox if he's ever seen Lady and the Tramp. That makes me so mad. So Graham is in here.

And he hasn't because no one has. I know. Well, we're getting to that next. Graham is in here partly learning the ropes on some new shows.

I know he's working the sports shop. Graham, here's what you need to learn. When Victoria comes in, Jonathan Rand will no longer pay attention to this program, OK?

They're just going to yap it up about stranger things or whatever the Panthers may or may not have done this week. So one thing to just to note when you work in the show, you need something out of Rand. Get it before Victoria shows up. Also, sometimes she has bad puddings, so that kind of throws a wrench in there. As a better mood, just just bar Victoria from the studio and the show will go much better through no fault of her own. She's just too charming and irresistible to not talk to. Now I'm messing around. So I but let's put her on the spot. I don't know if she can hear me.

Victoria. That's right. He'll be able to take the question. Have you ever seen the movie The Lady and the Tramp? Actually, now I know you know what it is and I know you know the scene where they slurp the spaghetti, right?

Have you actually we need to turn her mic on. Have you actually seen the movie? I have seen the movie. That's a lie. You're lying.

How is that a lie? Let me get some ears. What's the plot of Lady and the Tramp? What's that?

What's the plot of the Lady and the Tramp? Cute animals. It's been a minute. That's not a.

Here it comes. Cute animals and it's been a minute. I probably fell asleep during it.

I know I probably fell asleep doing it. The only thing you know. The spaghetti scene. That's all I need.

It's like a prim and proper dog and then a down and dirty dog and they suck spaghetti and kiss. That's it. That's the movie. That's all you know.

Love knows no bounds. You've never seen the movie. You only know that one scene. A portion. It counts.

Thank you. Thank you for proving my point. She's never seen it. So this is the whole premise? Like you don't think anyone's ever seen the whole movie? No one's ever actually seen that movie. I can get that.

She came in saying I've seen it and now she's quickly come over to my side. I mean it wasn't a lie if I've seen some of it. Right? Right. You misunderstood the question. Yes. Yes. I've seen that part.

I'm aware of it. But no. The whole movie. Nobody's seen the opening credits to Lady and the Tramp. No.

Not when you have other movies that you can watch like Bambi and Aladdin and you know. Thank you. Thank you Victoria. Okay. Obviously I'm not on Rand's side with this. No you're on the right side. Oh okay. Okay. You're on the side of the truth.

No one's ever seen Lady and the Tramp. Thank you for your contributions. Alright. On the wall of sound.

First up. Chris Mad Dog Russo. Who apparently was big in sports radio back in the day before I ever cared about sports radio. But then sports radio actually got good and I started caring about it. You know when people didn't just talk about sports the whole time. He was bummed out big time. This is so funny hearing him like. That Howard Stern had no idea that Mad Dog was on a daily ESPN TV show.

Here's how it sounded. Have you been paying attention? And I'll do this. Have you been paying attention? And we'll get back to the Hall of Fame.

I'm interested in your life more importantly. Have you been paying attention to this first take stuff on ESPN? The first take? The show? I don't want to listen. I don't know anything about sports.

Yeah but it's a sports show. I'm on here once a week at 10 to 12. Oh. We laugh. We fool around. We talk sports.

We talk all these topics. You're not following that? No I'm not but I didn't know you were on TV but good for you. And that should help you get into the Radio Hall of Fame.

Maybe that will impress the voters yes. I said the other day. I think it actually hurts to be honest with you. Alright now let's get you into this.

Alright so I need the. Every sports show should be clipping that. We laugh. We fool around. We talk sports. It's fun. Like that's what every sports radio aspires to be right?

And my apologies. I did not realize that Mad Dog Russo was only on first take once a week. The show runs every day.

I just assumed he was on there every day. But have you ever. This is why you don't do that Rand. Like you never want to go to your friends and be like.

Hey did you hear me on there today? Because it's an awkward position if they didn't right? And for the most part like who are we to think like. Which one of our friends is going to sit and listen to us.

For three or four hours whatever our shows are. Every time right? So it always gets super awkward if you're ever like. Yeah did you listen to me today? Graham you want to chime in on this one? I just want to say Hayes you taught me another valuable lesson other than the Victoria thing. That's humbled me a little bit.

There's some of my friends I need to be like you know what. I'm sorry for all the times I've been like hey did you hear me on the air? So you got to let it come to you right? So like Mad Dog by asking the question he put Stern in the position of like only being up.

First of all like Stern didn't even know what the show is right? And yes you do want to get excited. I was the first person when I had the dorky little article in the Herald Sun. The Herald Sun wasn't dorky that I was the dork. They gave me a chance to write sports right? And I got no idea what I was doing and I was like hey can I cover Friday night games?

They're like sure. And my name showed up in there like did a little article on I think it was Mount Zion vs. Hillside football when Mount Zion had a team. And on page whatever 32C in the prep sports section it said whatever Mount Zion wins.

DeAndre Mickleberry runs for two touchdowns by Hayes Permar. And I'm like oh my name's in the paper right? But like you don't go around and be like hey did you see my article in the Herald Sun today? Because inevitably my college friends at the time were gonna be like no I didn't read the Herald Sun prep sports section. It's like you can only lose by asking them. You'll only appreciate it more young Graham when your friends who do listen or didn't even know that you had a radio job but they were listening to whatever. And they heard Graham come on talking hurricanes during the playoffs and they're like oh that's my boy. And then they text you.

Then you appreciate those mores. You only set things up for awkwardness and failure if you're like did you hear? And they're like I didn't. And the only thing that annoyed me I never expected anybody to hear anything that I said on the radio. When I worked with David Glenn when we did Sports Channel 8 radio show. There was an element especially when I worked with the David Glenn show for like five years and multiple times people would like say hey you want to go to lunch?

They'd be like I can't ever. I worked noon to three. Like right like generally speaking my job is very flexible outside of the three hours that I absolutely can only look you know in one direction and probably won't even see your text. So I didn't mind that people didn't listen but like for my family members and close friends who couldn't pick up on the fact that no I will never be able to go to lunch from noon to three. That was a little bit of like come on can't you learn my schedule a little bit? Mom? I can't tell you how many texts I get from three to six thirty every day and then like my friends like you didn't text me back.

Why didn't you text me back? Sorry dude. I was playing octopus and you got you got to run a dang TV show now. That's a sports show. I'm on here once a week 10 to 12. It's fun. We laugh. We fool around. We talk sports. We talk all these topics.

You're not following it? It's fun. We laugh.

We fool around. I love Howard Stern realizing that he's heard the guy's feelings and goes uh oh. It's so sad.

It's like mad dog you don't have to do that dude. Come on. Bless his heart. Off of the crossbar and the Hurricanes have won the Stanley Cup. June 19th 2006 but it all started May 6 1997 with the announcement that the Hartford Whalers were coming to North Carolina. It's a story of transition of heartbreak of figuring it out on the fly. The Canes Corner look at the 25th anniversary of the move presented by the Aluminum Company of North Carolina. Listen now. Find Canes 25th anniversary wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-12 20:36:14 / 2023-02-12 20:47:29 / 11

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