Show Notes from Knup Sports Show

Show #79 – Senior Legal Counsel Alan Wilmot of Heitner Legal Discusses MLBPA Controversy, NCAA Likeness, Future of Sports Betting & More

On this episode, Alan Wilmot, the senior legal counsel at Heitner Legal joins us to talk about gaming law. He gives his opinions on some of the recent topics surrounding the sports and betting industry.

On this episode, Alan Wilmot, the senior legal counsel at Heitner Legal joins us to talk about gaming law. He gives his opinions on some of the recent topics surrounding the sports and betting industry.

Show notes from Alan Wilmot Interview

Ryan Knuppel: On this episode Alan Wilmot the senior legal counsel Heitner Legal joins us to talk about gaming law to give some opinions on some of the most recent topics running sports in the betting industry.

 Ryan Knuppel: Everywhere you turn, it’s the same old sports, talk the same headlines, the same news, and the same boring information. This podcast is here to change all of that. We bring you hot sports takes, winning sports betting strategy and picks, reliable gaming industry news, and breaking interviews with some of the biggest names in sports business. My name is Ryan Knuppel, and welcome to the Knup Sports Show.

Ryan Knuppel: All right welcome back to another edition of the Knup Sports Show so my name’s Ryan new poll on the host here with you each and every episode today we’re joined by another special guest as we always are today Alan Wilmot Heitner legal with the senior legal counsel at height or legal is with us today Alan are you on the line.

Alan Wilmot: Yes I’m here

Ryan Knuppel: Awesome Hey I appreciate you being here little background first of all I own and I we met at ice Boston I believe back in two thousand nineteen but up there great guy super well connected and then as of late here we actually got to hang out again down at the South Florida I gain you’d up Allen joined me there and got to chat so really enjoyed my time with Alan and thought I’d have on the show give a little legal perspective to this to the show so Alan welcome to the show glad to have you here once again.

Alan Wilmot: Thanks for having me I appreciate your time and look forward to talking whatever you have on tap.

Ryan Knuppel:  That’s right that’s right so the legal side of sports betting of the E sports of fantasy. I know you do a lot in the you know the I. P. space and and and some of this and as we talk through this I just want to warn everybody that this is not my specialty this is not my space so if my questions don’t even match up to like a good answer just like slapping over the face virtually and say Hey that doesn’t even make sense but I’m looking forward to some of your answers because this is a space that really intrigues me you know the law on the trademarks and all this stuff around gaming I really intrigues me but it’s just something I’m not super educated and so getting your education is going to be amazing what kind of things you know I guess before we gonna what kind of things you’re working on give us some of your background you know about how you got into this space maybe where you went to school things of that nature give us a little background of what you’ve been through.

Alan Wilmot: Yes I went to the law school university of Mani graduated with a special interest in sports entertainment my initial work focuses more so on the intellectual property side so with regard to trade mark whiting teen endorsements sponsorships anything and everything with regard to just entertainment and how you can then monetize or protect your intellectual property over the course of time you know I got really into gaming space specifically fancy sports you know around two thousand sixteen thousand seventeen when the real bloom was coming. E sports now with this two thousand nineteen thousand twenty bloom content and just a lot of teams in between three resilience of those so you know I’m done with work closely with a lot of daily fancy sports operators who were you know operating it all around the country when the main thing that provided for them is. Court to court legal opinions right which is what you require to get payment processing so if you’re a Fancy Sports operators you’ll game operators such as e sports or streaming any kind of skill based gameplay we’re looking to do money in money out transaction. All those require a third party legal opinion to be provided to the process who can go to the bank and say Hey these guys aren’t gambling product they’re good to go in accordance with UGA or any other kind of laws in place that prohibit internet gambling and that’s kind of where my Niche or I would say my role has been with a lot of these companies.

 Ryan Knuppel: That’s amazing that’s something I’d much needed space as you said I mean that’s an it’s like one of those check boxes that these companies have to check often so that that’s cool I’m sure you’ve been a part of some pretty big projects and things of that nature is there anything that maybe you’ve worked on in the past that you are working on that you’re able to talk about that I guess when you’re kind of high profile or something that was on that you can talk about.

Alan Wilmot: Yeah I mean for the most part a lot of the clients I work with are you know I to get in on the development stage start up stage where you know everyone have a great idea but in terms again that great and ideas with the lines of what the liable in terms what they one offer that’s kind of where I like to you know by two sensors help along the way and help them get to the next level what they want to do so for example one company that I’ve been able to work with monkey knife fight they actually start work with them probably when they first started before they were even known as monkey knife fight and my firm Heitner Legal you’re able to help them get involved in processing.

And then build paying there will get processing a refined kind of repay and watch them grow to what they are now I mean months knife fight to keep up with them again one two awards and stand on sports trade association being haven’t gone and deals with the SSL extra thousand terms being an official DSS provider so being able to work with them from the ground level either grow from you know is a really cool and then slice of other clients as well who have been able to you know kind of get to the next stage granted when it comes to the type of operation funding to always going to be the most important factor. Whether or not you have a great idea is to get off the ground you don’t have the capital behind support like the help in that area as well if you have something that’s really cool and you know the only back finding I really don’t think there should be something to stop you from continuing so if there’s any way it can help in terms of putting your own the one who handles business development is still looking out go out there and raising capital funds be as well you know just because his general counsel as well as just talking about.


Ryan Knuppel: Amazing that’s cool that’s a yeah I think that’s good advice to you know sometimes people get discouraged with the funding piece of it and so don’t let that hold you back you can always take some steps forward even if you don’t have that peace nailed down so I think that was good advice there for sure what about professional athletes do you it do anything with professional athletes in particular or not really your space.

Alan Wilmot: Yeah we actually work my friend to work with a lot of. Special athletes just in terms of the I. P. side so for example if you have an athlete you want to start a clothing brand or they wanna start a charitable foundation you know if they have any kind of branding opportunity if they want to go forth with the existing finde from trademarks are helping with enforcement helping. You know a third party cease and desist from using whatever the brand is. So Help log them on that side as well also as well the endorsement licensing you know work to help negotiate chapter deals make sure they’re being fully protected a lot of being. Right now that I get athletes starting to realize is. In this day and age with social media and the way you can just go direct to consumer with Instagram or Twitter for example you know if you’re able to develop your own brand and you able to. Utilize your platform which is you know how many thousands of dollars you have to get out there quickly you’re only not to worry about going through third party. Try and take your I. P. making itself for example I don’t know if you are familiar to Kawhi Leonard situation with Nike and how they’re trying to claim its laws their own I. P. and he’s saying that it is you know back then initially when it when I see back paying Bucks four or more five years ago you have to have. The Nike for example or to dealer you know try to work with you to develop a brand and they will used their platform to try to push you out but it only works so well for so many athletes for example you who knows how many athletes like you have on the roster that we are able to really monetized is have them you know what that was the deal so in case they hit they hit if they don’t well you can’t bring in the studio sure right now in this Digital age with the ability to utilize in monetize your own platforms. A lot of athletes for example for. raptors Pascal Siakam after they’d be able to make their own logo’s their own brands and they’re able to get someone in this design apparel for them this push awesome selves it came full ownership of the IP of the products of their work and you know really benefit benefits them more in the long run.

Ryan Knuppel: Wow such an intriguing area you know like you said these professional athletes now having a mind of their own being able to kind of do their own thing really is is the future that we’re seeing here and I think that kind of plays right into this whole.

This is this whole NCAA likeness debate and everything that’s going on right now is anything you can share on with that whole topic and and how you know I’m not in bill speak very knowledgeable to it but is there any anything about the whole instead of like like this topic do you know NC double A likeness on or have thoughts on.

Alan Wilmot: Sure I think would be insulated topic it’s a big issue in a sense that you know for how many years now to have people bring claiming that you know after you should be able to college athletes should be able to make money off the managed just like any other student all college students allowed to do for example if your your Student if you wanna go out there and write a book after work or whatever insurance you do this the school pride takes on it using school property school product kind of promote yourself but. You’re able to leave my Titans away the day name it name image and likeness issue I think a lot of the hang up is that you know people say well yeah it’s good in concept and theory but when it comes to know how many athletes really going to benefit from this right because I think they will yeah and that way there’s only so many dialogues around you know that it’s only the only thing the trouble launching a distraction benefit but in reality the. The the log itself as you know each of the states are coming out with a lot of meant to benefit all athletes and it’s just to give them the opportunity to do so no one’s requiring them to be paid just to get on the chance though one big example and it’s something they really teach you in law school of the pretty common case there aren’t there’s there’s the issue of a college football player who also within the Olympic and he would post videos of himself on YouTube or you know whatever it’s doing tricks or things of that nature and now Youtube can get paid for ads and gain the blade made him take it down and your name or he was gonna lose old eligibility. Granted who knows who you play with the making that much money will just a fact that money was coming in through his work that could be associated with that your college athlete or Are you maybe you’re not gonna close to you it is like the Olympic athlete status distill was related to him receive money so we’re taking down. I know one big thing was this past year was the UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi who had that great routine and she was able to do anything with diagnose being shown all over the world and people were saying oh look at this school knows is her image but L. Q. we have been able to use her image for whatever they want to do with it and she had no control you can get any kind of commission any kind of role that nature so it’s really more so just giving them the chance I know one thing that were that Heitner Legal had mail to do as actually be able to work with us Florida lawmakers in promoting a bill. I go to Florida athletes being able to use an image likeness Florida and we support but I think as more states and I think there’s a twenty states that came out of the was Kentucky as more states continue to produce a bill that some point the installation after either turn on the gas their own legislation or they’re gonna have to compete for the state because right now what do you look into those dates in court but you know there’s only so much I mean frankly if the lady you should but if you want to call to the states in court is not going to be favorable.

Ryan Knuppel: Yeah I mean from an outsider’s perspective looking and it just seems like such a problem and it seems like it’s only going to get worse it with the years to come with all these kids now. Even at their younger years trying to monetize themselves I mean you got kids that are ten years old trying to monetize themselves on tik tok in on these different platforms and I just only see this getting worse as these kids get older and they feel like they have the right and then they go to this one of these colleges and all of a sudden they can’t do it or something you know I just feels like it’s only going to get worse before it gets better so it’s something that really needs to be addressed quickly I think by the NC double a.

Alan Wilmot: Sure I mean one prime example like you mention of the kids younger and younger they’re getting more and more the wrong postmedian the more more out oppurtunity the help once had looked out at it you know preaching aging well the lebron James get Bronnie yes Bronnie junior imagine what he could do once he’s able to you know grant them stressing the prize in placing his father or his father works with you know people on the street here in terms of not Looking to monetize insult to quickly but it’s gonna be a name and once you become want you to go to college maybe in time poignant reaching NBA granted if he does go to college and she was gonna. We’re gonna be no appeal he could be the next dial in terms of the peel in your answer people lined up all around you would be doing the radio is now high school not many high school in high school games are on ESPN ESPN two sure every time so. Something definitely needs to be addressed.

Ryan Knuppel: Definitely well that’s a great input I appreciate that about one other topic issue if you have any thoughts on this what about the whole Astros MLBPA. the debacle that we had you know last month last I guess was a month ago okay issues are around that that you want to talk about I know there was a lot to that but you guys dealing with that in any way or do you have outside opinions on that whole debacle that went down.

Alan Wilmot: Yeah n interactions that that situation but definitely I can give you an outside opinion either I think the whole the whole situation with the MLBPA commissioner and the Astros now it’s being handled just goes to show how strong the MLBPA into the union in terms of grants it the individual players aren’t happy with the outcome of you know the Astros not really being penalized in terms of no player will actually penalize all. The new general manager and the manager especially the MLBPA who will be able to kind of site to a loophole in that Robert Manfred had sent out a memo saying if there is any sort of cheating situation because the sign stealing you know players can’t be held accountable and then I would be able MLBPA is light upon it it will be used to show why those players shouldn’t be honest and I just go to the strength of that union and I think on the flip side. You look at what we’re not enough LPA and how they’re handling the current CBA negotiations with the NFL owners and you just kind of see how granted think it’s racing in terms of individual players with their individual opinions but you see how. The NFLPA it’s kind of on the opposite extreme of strength as the union the hole in that they’re willing to take a deal that kind of caters to owners and kind of caters to what the league is willing to provide them but they are willing to take a deal that strengthen themselves for the long run. Granted there’s some being that they are being able to improve on what. I think with the whole onus on a seventeen game see then the cap for the seventeen game and Jess a ten year deal the whole industry can your window just so long the next day the agent how media rights are handled and how you know you know streaming or cable just how everything that relates to that in the revenue that can be made off of that it’s just. It’s kind of short sighted in terms of but any. Honestly I think the NFL owners know that and the the league that. They know they will I think the more Smith examines you know there’s new CBA it is just sixty percent of the athletes and. Consider that a win. The MLBPA the big league and granted they don’t have the benefits of. Being able to kind of. Confine their what they think is most important because there’s so many different players of so many different ranging you know salaries are prominence that is kind of hard to cater to the mall what. Eight when it comes down to it. NFLPA MLBPA NBAPA it’s all the same and that the players of the product the player is able to realize that they’re the product and the strength of behind what’s being promoted on my legal on TV then they’re gonna fail to see that they shouldn’t go say something that shows their worth as opposed something they wanna take at the time. I think one big thing it’s always talked about that you know there’s still a whole year left for the GB expires and by the time to go see now there if there’s no deal is going to be no season there’s gonna be a season. That you know if the owners want to put an artificial deadline on them and make them feel that they have to sign it in a minuscule way because they feel this year that the actual product that people are gonna want to see as opposed to the owners that means one big thing in the N. B. at the MLBPA has been able to grass granted there in union is has a lot of strong willed individuals involved in the but the plane is a smaller unions so it’s easier to kind of. Give them what they want but they definitely have seen the be it the players and with the players could out on the court is what fans come to see and it applies to all leagues so if you are unable to see that you will receive your actual work what you should ask for it and I think that’s what the president MLBPA kind of struggles.

Ryan Knuppel: Right right Allen Wilmot ladies and gentlemen Alan well my one of the brightest in the industry we’re talking with today I wanna switch gears here one more time I know you I know you’re on a tight schedule so we will finish up here pretty quickly but I want to switch gears one more time and talk a little bit more about the sports betting side of things we have you know the audience of the show is pretty heavy in the gaming space and so I know they’re itching for me to ask a sports betting related question so I’m gonna keep it Florida related since you’re down in Miami area give me a little I guess insight into where Florida stands with this whole sports betting issue and and how quickly you think your prediction I know nobody knows but how quickly we might be able to see it being legalized here in in Florida.

Alan Wilmot:  I think Florida is probably one of the toughest day to get sports betting and not because it’s something that the people don’t want but just because when it comes to the you know having a go in the course of the constitution requires or banking or needed actor currently in place it is there’s a lot of. I guess you could say who who who they have to jump through but I do think that Florida is a state that. Itching for sports betting I think it’s something that the people are going to continue to ask for and if I was to probably put an estimation on time and like you mentioned it’s impossible because they change every year and then once the plate they get so long place then how long until it’s implemented you know those such so many stages but I could see.

Ryan Knuppel: I would hope that Florida will be able to hop on the sports betting trying within the next two years hopefully. That’s my hope to any sooner rather than later but I mean I’m one of the biggest things are dealing with right is the the whole Indian tribes and getting through some of those like you said loopholes or groups have to jump through I’m assuming that’s quite the battle there writer or quite the discussion and agreement that kind of has to come into play working withthose organizations.

Alan Wilmot:  Sure act actually probably the main one just making sure that all parties involved I feel that not one not being taken advantage of by the other and making sure that whatever packs in place you’re being it here too because it’s tough to put a sports betting regulation in place a party who had been granted exclusivity the sports betting or gambling in general all of a sudden feels that they’re losing the minister appointed in the first place.

Ryan Knuppel: Yeah for sure for sure what about across the rest of the United States you see in anything that stands out any I mean any state do you think you know may come on board here sooner rather than later hi I know there’s always talk is a lot of news you know day in and day out across the states but I don’t know how any nuggets around I guess the legalization side that you might go to give us your before we go.


Alan Wilmot:  Sure it’s probably more so in the meantime I think once they display going to have to come around more so to sports betting is probably a date that’s already involved next New York I think with New York the biggest issue with them is that they allow for sports betting but they refused to allow mobile sports betting and I just think in this day and age when everyone so plugged into your phone or it could be done online via computer if you’re gonna allow sports betting yeah well the whole thing you can’t just stop at and input in you know life person sports twenty three going to allow it you have to make sure that encompasses mobile otherwise especially in New York all those dates are so close together where I can get my car drive in Jersey or any other state up there that allows mobile they’re gonna they’re losing I think it’s very important that the losing so much potential revenue to their neighboring state allow mobile because they refused to do it themselves if I can just drive across state lines it in my car Loggins drive back when I’m done I would rather that be done in my own state as opposed to listening to neighboring states I think that’s New York is definitely state that probably needs to know. Keep in mind what’s going on around them and hopefully make the.

Ryan Knuppel: Necessary changes me why are they struggling so much with that decision why oh why is that and again this is opinion this is I realize you don’t have all the answers but it’s just it blows my mind that I don’t get what the hang up is and how they can I mean I guess move forward with that because it’s like everyone sees it I’m sure that everyone in the state sees it everyone in the surrounding states sees it but it’s like they just can’t move forward with that I mean what what’s the hang up here is it is it a legal thing is that a political thing what what is the hang up over there you have any any insight into that.

Alan Wilmot: I couldn’t tell you specifically what’s hanging up there I’m sure someone more details and you can sure work good but you know but I just think it’s more so at the New York well you’ve been a state that has kind of been slow to catch on to what’s going on and then when you do catch on what’s going on they’ve been slow to adapt I think one thing you can see there is not just with the sports betting that there also will be only fancy sports in the recent ruling they had where they said that the only transports was no longer considered an exam. Category of gaming in Alton formerly the gambling statute I mean there’s a street what they’ll do that but then the also allow current daily transport operators that your FanDuel and draftkings to continue operating which It is a kind of a gold mine they have allowed them to operate based on the presumption that need to lighten and they’re able to grant him a license but then they won’t bring any other operating temporary license operate but then the law comes out and says you know what you don’t need a license anymore go ahead an offer thanks what does the exam skill game. But they say you still need to license in the law but again those not long ruling but again thing actually never mind do you thanks Watson actually gambling. So even if you do you have a license it doesn’t really matter because the license you can use the G. exempt yourself so there’s so much going on there that they really aren’t able. Done in on you know what they should do.

Ryan Knuppel: Sure sure the merry go round continues it’s like makes my head spin makes my head almost blow up so I’m glad I’m not the decision maker I guess up in there but yeah Alan Wilmot I definitely appreciate you joining me today where can the audience if they want to get a hold of you maybe they have a start up maybe they have just like you said general counsel or something they’re they’re looking for man I would highly recommend you guys reach out to Allen if if so where would they get a hold of you how would they get a hold of you what’s the best way to reach you.


Alan Wilmot: Definitely like images that you mentioned earlier I work a Heitner legal to have any other questions or just want calm and and just get into bed like a man side to help instead of following a campsite piece part of singing stage any process you can reach out to me at Allen ALLEN and at Heitner HEITNER legal dot com. ( ) All is well on Twitter Allen Wilmot law A. L. A. N. W. I. L. M. O. T. law. Both panels Twitter Instagram well I did provide certain Tibet knocked on personal website Republic check out when I post your time the time what’s going on in the Daily fancy sports property world net Allen Wilmot Law dot com


Ryan Knuppel: Amazing all of those links will be in the show notes so you don’t have to write him down and scramble and get a mall I’ll get all of those in the show notes for this episode and where people can get out to you as they need so Alan man I really appreciate it I’ve really enjoyed become a little closer to you and almost consider you a friend in this industry now and so really looking forward to meeting up again at another event on your future and hopefully learning more I feel like I learned so much every time I sit down with you so thank you for your time I know it’s valuable time and I really appreciate you joining me on.


Alan Wilmot:  Most definitely appreciate the time and I look forward to coming on again speaking about any other updates and changes.

Ryan Knuppel:  All right appreciate again guys that was Allen Willnot of Heitner Legal joining us given us some tidbits on the legal side of things in the gaming industry one of the best in the business so I appreciate you all tuning in until next time have a great one Allen take care.

Ryan Knuppel: Thanks for listening to this episode of the Knup Sports Show. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider subscribing to our iTunes channel today. Plus visit us for more picks, previews, strategy, and news. That’s K-N-U-P

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