tv NBC10 Issue NBC October 4, 2015 11:30am-12:01pm EDT
welcome to "nbc10 @issue," i'm keith jones. you only have to watch a show and you see ads with fan duel or draft kings. they're new but it's about betting. fan duel is supported by comcast, the parent company of nbc10. joining me now is john hanson, owner of guru.com. along with his website, he also has a tv show devoted to fantasy football and he hosts a show on sirius/xm. also joining us, fellow villanovan, former intern at nbc10, an avid fan, and he thinks he knows the secret way
to make money on the sites. thanks for joining us. john, i want to start with you. there's an important distinction to make. it's playing fantasy sports. how does it work? >> traditional fantasy football league, you draft a team in the preseason and manage that team throughout the season and go to the playoffs and the champion is crowned. daily fantasy says, you know what, it's a big commitment, a lot of work involved, let's go week to week with it. every week you log in, you pick your team for that week but you must stay under the salary cap and then we take it from there. >> these are popular because of money, and big money at that up. watch one of these ads and you see millions of dollars are on the line. tell me about the experience you've had of people winning money. there are small stakes and then huge stakes. >> the one issue with the industry is the sharks are taking over in terms of these big prizes, the million dollar contests and the like, but there are certainly opportunities for the regular guy to go in, one of
the leagues is called a 50/50, let's say there's 1,000 in the contest, if you finish in the top 100, you win some money. it's an interesting phenomenon with the sharks eating up everybody in the ocean there, but you can still make some money, some profit. >> there's money to be made for these two companies as well. what is that figure like? you see these ads. they must be astronomical, the commercials. >> it's a blitz marketing, every time you turn on the television. regardless of the type of channel you're on, not even sports. i think they see an opportunity here because fantasy sports are continually grow over the last 20, 30 years and they're not even scratching the surface in terms of the percentage of people who play fantasy sports, who play daily. it's under 25%. i think they see the potential and that's why uts tuned in. >> one man tuned in, the man to my right. how did you get involved in
this? >> they weren't doing advertisements like every five minutes like now. i saw an ad for fan duel, they said you get a free entry into the double up, so i put an entry in, started playing $1, $2 stakes. >> so low? >> yes. that's what kept the ability to not risk everything and playing fantasy sports because that's what i'm here for. >> you're doing what you love and you study with what you love. you're getting your masters at villanova on statistics. >> when you look at fantasy sports in general, batting average, on base percentage. in 2000 before "money ball" came about, it was never on base. you were a pariah if you used advanced statistics. we're at the advent with daily fantasy sports, more and more stats are coming out and getting
involved with that. the more stats you can take in, the more knowledge you have with the sport, and variants, the better you can be. >> that's why it's a game of skill. we'll talk about that after the break. but women are getting involved at a pretty high rate, right? >> yes. i've done a radio show on sirius/xm for more than a decade and women are getting more and more and more involved. i would say ten years ago it was probably fewer than 20% women were involved in fantasy football. now upward, 35%, 40%. they enjoy sports like everyone else. it's all about entertainment, sucking more entertainment value out of the nfl and other sports. we also love the adrenaline rush. the women, i think, in particular really enjoy hanging with the boys and beating the boys at their own game. >> which is very uncomfortable, too. my first weak challenge, a sidebar here, got beat by a girl that i went to school.
i said, come o have you to be kidding me. there are some anywnaysayers. some are calling them loathsome, exploitive. do you see that? >> if you're enjoying what you're doing with it and you're not going too crazy with the gambling aspect, risking money, but if i'm going to lose $2 a day on a site to watch fantasy sports, to me that's not losing. i'm enjoying and having fun. you can call it exploitive if you say the companies are taking a percentage of the profits but that's how you make money. you're using their site and joining millions of others to play. to me, it's not like you're losing anything. >> you have discretionary income, you can go to a bar and drop down $20, drink a couple beers, the $20 is gone. instead of that you can play daily fantasy. don't agree with that. i don't think they're preying on people at all in this area. >> what are the biggest mistakes
people make? >> not realizing how big the sharks are. if you post a head-to-head match-up, someone can click in and feed off one-to-one, the sharks are playing 400, 500 lineups a day. >> that many? >> or more potentially. if they're going to do that, they're going to scoop up everybody. say, i've never seen their user name, their account before, they're probably new, i'll add all of their contests, go to somebody else and add all their contests. until you get a footing into the industry and you understand how it works, that's going to happen to you. unfortunately, it might turn some people away. that's why i play single entry, i play 50/50s for the most part, every once in a while a tournament. you get into a zone where you're really competing against 100 different people, not one guy with 50 guys in a tournament. >> the odds are more clear-cut. >> one issue, it's counterintuitive to me in terms of what i do, the is contrainian
play. i'm going to start sam brad foerz because nobody else is going to play him, that goes against my dna but that's how you win tournaments. >> one last question i'm going to try to squeeze it in. fan loyalty. you have fans of teams and they back their teams like crazy. now you've got individual players, you're watching every single game. does this hurt fan loyalty, or better yet, team loyalty? >> to me, doesn't do any different than a season-long fantasy. if you're a season-long league you root for the same players every week but not all your own team. daily fantasy, probably the same percentage is or isn't on your team. to me doesn't change than if you were playing fantasy sports. >> the league doesn't care.
the league is like, if you're more interested in the nfl, that's good. interestingly enough i had larry fitzgerald on my radio show, i did a show with roddy white, and me and larry are fal cans fonz and he said, don't get the intrigue of fantasy. i said, whoa, i was at three tournaments when vikings went down in defeat. it was painful. they have not won a championship in my lifetime so that's why i got started in fantasy football. he got it there. >> kevin, question for you here, so i play fantasy sports. i think the average guy, if they play fantasy sports, of course, is dealing with one or two leagues. would you say i should dive into fan duel or draft kings? zild start with single entries, the 50/50s or double-ups. you won't play everybody who will scoop your games. i think it's not much different. you're going to look at -- there are articles on yahoo! espn, who's a good play, bad play.
so, going into it, you probably already know a lot have the information you need. to be a serious investor, to make a lot of money off it, you might need to go deeper. use the advanced statistics and extra knowledge and do hours of research. if you just wanted to play for fun, its not is that hard to get into and knowledge you already have about good teams and bad teams, that will carry over. >> that's their pitch on fan do youle and draft kings, they're like, you're already studying all this stuff, you're into it, why not use that knowledge you already have to make some money on one of our sites? >> you can go to fantasyguchlt ru.com. >> thank you. >> fellow villanova grad going for his masters and fellow former intern. john, stick around. you stay with us as well. next on "nbc10 @issue" we're going to discuss the pushback fantasy sports games are getting
welcome back to "nbc10 @issue." we're discussing the explosion of fantasy sports. some say the sites are legalized gambling that should be stopped or regulated but fantasy sports companies say they're games of skill based on sports knowledge of players and not gambling, which is based on chance or luck. on its website, draft king says, quote, all of our contests are operated 100% legally under united states and canadian law. the u.s. government and 45 of the 50 states consider fantasy sports a game of skill. we take the legal status of our contests very seriously. . we reached out to fan duel, they tell us people pay a fee to join a league and the winnings are
divided. they gamble against the house in which the odds are against them. there is no house in fantasy sports. kenneth is professor of legal studies and bissetics at university of pennsylvania wharton school and a lawyer with a special interest in sports law. we welcome back fantasy guru john hanson. i really appreciate this. the best place to start, kenneth, is this 100% legal or is it just kind of a gray area that says it's not illegal? >> right. the latter is probably more true. so far, so good. there's an exemption within the federal law, 2006 that says fantasy sports are not gambling. this is the internet gambling act. so far, so good. the question people have now is we go to daily fantasy, does that get us closer to gambling than a season-long fantasy team. is it more of a lucky thing, game of chance, that an activity
of school. >> there seems to be a bill lar question right here. what's the difference between a game o of skill and gambling. >> those of us that pay close attention to poker, for example, skilled poker players do better than unskilled poke are players. in some sense you can consider poker a game of skill. that falls into that gambling category. in the same way people that do well are those analytically strong, tend to focus on the game and they do well and participate well. those of us that may get caught up in the storm of the commercials. maybe i can win at this. just as gambling does. i hear the slot machines or i see the lottery number go up. you may be cast into a new game of cast instead of one exercised on the base of skill. >> fan duel, draft kings. why aren't they covered by gambling laws?
you said 2006 there was a bill that had passed? >> that's it. it's skill. the idea you are putting together a team that's not the actual team, piecing something together. it's analytical. it's not like rolling the dice. it's not like hoping the right card comes up in blackjack. >> john, will this become illegal? do you see that happening? >> for one, it's so popular and so big. if you're a legislator and you want to champion this cause of banning fantasy sports, you may not get re-elected, but i would follow the money. there are so many big media companies heavily involved now. and the leagues themselves, the nfl players association themselves, nba has a dueal wit fan duel. i would say no.
>> how do companies change things? do you see a big difference? >> part of what has to happen is more of a separation of those who are skilled players and those who are amateurs. they have begun to do some of that, having contests that allow only people who are first-timers to play. if you play against the real pros, you're not going to win. that's really what's been going on there. >> john, are there protections on these sites? we were talking about this before this segment, to keep people from losing too much money? >> not right now. i think at some point, i think the fantasy sports industry may need their own version of gam e gambler's anonymous. don't think the potential pitfalls of fantasy sports are anywhere near those for people like gambler's anonymous, the issues they deal with as they do with casino gambling? >> anything you've heard other than -- >> other than the number of commercials on tv? no, not really. they've had a couple of problems here and there, but generally
speaking, they're pretty well-run companies. >> and you think these two websites in particular are safe? >> well, they're safe right now. physical there's some big expose about someone losing a lot of money, until some legislator goes after this hard, they're safe. the exemption law exists and that's really where these two players are and that's where all the big investors are. >> that's right. thank you so much for joining us, guys. i really appreciate your time. next we're going to take a bit of a right turn here. the lessons learned, and we'll talk about the pope's visit. how it could change the way future events are handled in philadelphia. we'll discuss plans to keep everyone, including small businesses, from losing out. ♪my milkface is an elevated state.♪ ♪cinnamon is my soul mate.
the recent papal visit won't be the only big event in town. philadelphia is set to host a democratic national convention next year bringing thousands more people to the area. some groups are already working hard to make sure it's a success. joining me now is merrill leavitt, thank you for joining me. i really appreciate that. so, what have we learned from the pope's visit? a huge weekend in philadelphia. >> the main thing we learned is that philadelphia is really ready for its close-up. it got lots of them all over the world. and we were so ready. we were beautiful. we were engaging. we were glorious. it was wonderful to be the home
and the cap stone of the pope's first visit to america. it was wonderful to be the site again of an amazing speech, just like obama talking at the ncc, national constitution center, some years ago about race, to have him talking right in the heart of america about issues like immigration and religious freedom. what it taught us was philadelphia has a lot to say in many ways to many kinds of people all over the country and all over the world. and that we can handle what was really a first-time event for everybody. >> no question. >> not only a pope, but for secret service, for the city, for world meeting of families and the archdiocese. it was a first. so, we're home to yet another one. >> no two better back drops than the ben franklin parkway and se centennial mall. what did we learn short-term and
long-term in hosting an event of that magnitude? >> what we learned is what's called a national special security event, which is something we're all going to have to live with after 9/11 and the democratic national convention will be one of those as well. many of the lessons learned, the skills put to use, the talented people who had the opportunity to learn even more about how to do, this isn't a one and done. this is something we'll use repeatedly. >> that's the long-term right there. >> we were able to present a philadelphia that's greener, cleaner, great water front, construction everywhere, youthful population as well as the baby boomers, so everybody was able to see this and think of this very special moment in
the same sentence as philadelphia. whether they want to come back as a visitor, convention attendee, go to school, open a business or hopefully live here. >> playing devil's advocate, think of that traffic box and the security that was required. i had to be screened several times to get in. there were many restrictions what you could bring inside. were there any adverse effects, do you think, in terms of branding for the city and what these visitors saw and took away from the city? >> i don't know how much they'll attach that to the city itself, but we certainly learned that the kinds of messaging that need to be done not only for visitors and the residents and visitors, probably needs to come out earlier than the residents and businesses were informed this time around. partly that was because -- i said, this was a first-time think and many things kept changing. many residents and businesses
had the question, should i stay or go? should i open or close? should i try to be part of this or do i want to escape? it wasn't until they saw footage of the pope in america and saw the banners, the billboards, the aisle be there campaign, and realized that a lot of the original impressions were erroneous, but by that time they had made plans that were too late to change. i think we have to realize philadelphians are very curious people and want to be prepared and need to know earlier. >> besides the dnc coming up in 2016, any other big events on the horizon. >> yes. we have two post tours so everyone can see all the art being created right here. there's just so much going on all the time. new exhibit at constitution center. everywhere you look. >> there you go. thank you so much.
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prime time's number one show, sunday night football. only on nbc. well, the men's road racing championships is well underway here in richmond, virginia. taylor finny managed to get in as he waives the flag for the united states on the roads of virginia. hello and welcome. it's day eight. the final day of the world road