Tonight CNBC will delve deep into the world gaming industry and present a one off programme, called “The Big Business of Illegal Gambling.” The hour long episode will be aired Wednesday at 9.00 ET, and as the show advertises, will “take viewers inside this high-stakes business that brings some people immense wealth, while others pay the ultimate price.”
The show begins with CNBC’s Melissa Francis interviewing a range of interesting characters involved in offline gambling, including a bookmaker, a professional gambler, and “a restaurant owner who freelances as a bookie [and] crosses the Mob and pays a heavy price.”
Next, the attention switches to the internet as the show proclaims, “Technology has made illegal gambling much more accessible and the same computer used for work or to connect with family and friends can also be used to wager outside the law.”
Among those interviewed in this section is World Sports Exchange entrepreneur Jay Cohen, who helped co-found the $200 million revenue generating business, but found himself behind bars after falling foul of the Wire Act of 1961.
This segment also includes a feature on Scott Damiani, who now spends his time trying “to increase public awareness about problem and compulsive gambling.” As the show explains, “Illegal gambling costs Scott Damiani his home, business family… and almost cost him his life. After hitting rock bottom, he picked his life back up and now devotes his time to helping other gambling addicts as the Executive Director of the Outreach Foundation.”
The hour long exposé then concludes by opening up the whole internet gambling debate, and highlights the different motivations and opinions of the ‘for’ and ‘against’ camps. Congressmen Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) feature prominently in this section as they argue their respective cases.
The show can be seen tonight at 9:00pm ET on CNBC.