Speaker Series: Hal Wafer

April 14, 2023
Hal Wafer and group in RTIP office

RTIP Alum Hal Wafer stopped by the Joe Hirsch Speaker Series to share his experience in the sports wagering industry. Following the Supreme Court decision to allow states to authorize sports gambling in 2018, Wafer spent time in Mississippi and New York working on the operational side of the industry. In New York, he managed the top revenue sportsbook in the state for two years. Wafer is currently the Event Wagering and Fantasy Sports Administrator for the Arizona Department of Gaming.

Wafer provided many lessons to students from his time in sports wagering. He first laid out the legislative stance the state of Arizona has on sports wagering and how racetracks can benefit from sportsbook partnerships. He made sure to emphasize how forms of revenue differ between racetracks and casinos, and that sports betting is a moving dynamic with more risk than a racetrack. Wafer shared the different keys to keeping customers engaged and routinely returning to a betting location, emphasizing that the principles apply across all forms of gambling. He wrapped up the discussion by sharing examples and experiences of his time as a sports wagering operator and how students can apply those in their careers.