John F. O'Reilly, Gaming Law Expert and Chairman/CEO of O'Reilly Law Group

John F. O’Reilly is a graduate of St. Louis University and went on to earn his juris doctorate from St. Louis University School of Law. O'Reilly is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of O’Reilly Law Group, a full-service law office providing legal services in all business and personal legal matters including litigation, gaming, real estate, business and entertainment, among others. His extensive experience includes the most trusted position in gaming in the entire state of Nevada, Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission.

His 40+ years of experience as an attorney includes a broad range of businesses, business transactions and business litigation, including numerous multi-million dollar lawsuits. Career highlights include:

  • Representation of numerous gaming, hospitality and entertainment companies including MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, Mandalay Resort Group, CasaBlanca Hotel-Casino-Golf-Spa, Westward Ho Motel & Casino, and EMI Music Publishing, as well as entertainers and athletes including Siegfried & Roy, MJJ Productions (Michael Jackson), Olivia Newton-John, Fats Domino, Liberace Estate and Mike Tyson.

  • Representation of Del Webb Corporation, American West Homes, Lewis Homes, American Nevada Corporation, and numerous other developers and contractors.

  • Representation of Lake Las Vegas Resort, a multi-billion dollar resort community involving development of residential, hotel, casino, restaurant and retail properties, private lake, golf courses and related entertainment facilities.

FCP: The Denver Broncos recently signed a first-of-its-kind deal with FanDuel to serve as the team’s official sports betting and daily fantasy partner. One day after, they announced a second partnership with UK-based Betfred. What are your thoughts on this?

O'Reilly: This is just part of the evolution of sports publicly and openly embracing the reality and profitability of gambling on sports events.

FCP: Do you think we will begin to see other teams and sports doing the same?

O'Reilly: Yes…now that many of the legal and regulatory limitations are being relaxed or removed, gambling will be formally embraced as part of their business models. Gambling on the outcome of sports and other games of skill has been part of humanity since the times of the cavemen and cavewomen. It will now become main stream much more quickly than in the past….limited only by the legislative, legal, and regulatory requirements and challenges.

FCP: How will Covid-19 affect gambling online in off-shore accounts, such as FanDuel and DraftKings, versus people going to a physical sports book to place bets?

O'Reilly: The demand will continue to increase due to the convenience and lack of Covid-19 issues limited by the legal and regulatory issues.

FCP: There seems to be a core group of people who have a real betting relationship, whether that is in Vegas or off-shore books, and another group of sports fans who only place a bet every now and then. Capital One Arena, home to the Washington Wizards and Capitals, will be the first major professional sports team to have a sportsbook inside their stadium. The sportsbook run by online sports betting company, William Hill, will be open during Capitals and Wizards game days, both home and away. What are your thoughts? Why don’t more states put their brick and mortar operations in their sports arenas/stadiums/parks to try and increase the betting?

O'Reilly: I believe you will soon see more and more sports books in arenas and stadiums along with geo fenced electronic/on line betting opportunities. Horse race tracks established the on site betting model many years ago that can and will be followed more and more by sports arenas/stadiums/parks.

FCP: The New York Times published a piece where Ted Leonsis of Monumental Sports and Entertainment said he noticed during a trip to Scotland that you could bet on sports at thousands of outlets in the United Kingdom. He compared these betting parlors of the UK to the Starbucks or Domino’s that are popularized across the United States. Do you see this phenomenon of betting taking over the United States in the future?

O'Reilly: I believe you will first see the on-line model and the current bricks and mortar (casinos, bars and taverns with gambling) and sports arenas/stadiums/parks. Given the on-line and the existing gambling location capacity, I do not think we in the USA will see the betting parlor models and if we do I do not think they will survive the competition unless they evolve into the sports bar/tavern/small casino model.

FCP: As sports prepare to come back, how will Vegas oddsmakers take into account home field advantage without fans?

O'Reilly: The benefits should be reduced significantly.

FCP: Nevada enjoyed a monopoly on gambling for many years. What has the effect been since more and more states have legalized gambling?

O'Reilly: Nevada has benefited from the competition over the last several decades and will continue to do so as the Covid-19 limitations, fears, and other challenges are resolved.

FCP: Will the legalization of sports betting change how games are watched, and even played?

O'Reilly: We will watch the games in basically the same “way” but we will have more opportunities for wagering regardless of where or how we are watching the game(s). To that extent it will change how we watch.

FCP: Do you think we will see more match-fixing?

O'Reilly: Not likely we will see more successful match or game fixing. Legalized gaming has provided and will continue to provide information and data (and persons and entities of interest) that will be interested and watchful to be sure the game outcomes are legitimate.

FCP: As more and more states are legalizing gambling, how does the production of televised games change to accommodate gambling and betting?

O'Reilly: You will see more and more betting data and metrics (biometric data etc) including some of the metrics the professionals and their coaches now use to evaluate performance and possible performance by prospects and recruits.

FCP: Will we start to see gambling data analysts on live broadcasts or a scrolling bar of changing odds at the bottom of the television screen?

O'Reilly: Yes…the odds will likely, at least initially, be broadcast independently of the event broadcast…but could be part of the sponsorship group(s) eventually.

FCP: Biometric data collection of athletes is becoming a growing area of interest and could potentially create new opportunities for betting. How do you think biometric data will fit in with the current betting industry?

O'Reilly: See above. It will be more and more part of the relevant betting/prognosticating facts.

FCP: In the English Premier League, 10 of the 20 teams have betting companies as their main shirt sponsor, paying a combined $91 million for the placement. What effects, if any, do you think legalized gambling in the United States will have on sources of sponsorship income?

O'Reilly: Any and all successful entities involved in the legitimate gambling on events will likely be possible and probable sponsors over time.

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