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The National Law Journal: Q&A: O'Melveny Practice Leader Covers the Sports-Betting Blitz

February 01, 2019

In this one-on-one interview with partner and sports group co-chair Irwin Raij, he discusses such topics as the recent legalization of sports betting, the firm's sports practice, his own career, and the upcoming Super Bowl LIII.

NLJ: “Did the Supreme Court decision affect your practice?”

Raij: “I decided to launch an interdisciplinary task force that combined our group
with others working on white-collar, cryptocurrency, money laundering and other issues that could come up. My practice is a little bit of everything. Personally, over 50 percent of my practice is on the stadium development side of the equation. How do you build or renovate stadiums, create unique financing structures, deal with complicated political stories. I love that kind of work. There’s no straight line to it. It requires at times patience, creativity, a willingness to listen. It’s all about bringing people together.”

NLJ: “What’s been the impact of the Supreme Court’s sports betting decision?”

Raij: “There’s excitement about potential opportunities. For many years, this was not a discussion point, irrespective of the monetization opportunities. The leagues aren’t legalizing gambling. The Supreme Court said it’s the states’ right and so some of the stigma of gambling is disappearing, not unlike some other stigmas in society. We’ve seen an acceptance and that has led to a whole discussion about how to monetize it.”

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