Will the U.S. Supreme Court Bless Sports Wagers? Casinos Are … – Bloomberg

If the casino industry gets its way, this could be the last March Madness where Americans have to go to Nevada to bet legally on the college basketball championship.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule, possibly next month, on New Jersey’s bid to offer sports betting. If the court gives the go-ahead, it could start a chain reaction of states approving such wagers in casinos and online. Forecasters see revenue from legal sports betting rising to the billions of dollars within five years, while companies including MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp. are closely watching the case.

Game’s Afoot

Sports betting in Nevada has almost doubled since 2009

Source: Nevada Gaming Control Board

“They’re all just sort of circling around the opportunity and getting ready to pounce,” said David Henwood, an analyst with the U.K.-based researcher H2 Gambling Capital.

Federal law limits sports betting to the states that offered it before legislation was passed in 1992: Nevada, Montana, Delaware and Oregon. Of those, only Nevada offers a full suite of betting options, including college hoops. Oregon no longer offers it.

Read more: QuickTake on sports betting

Sports leagues have historically opposed expanded betting, but sentiment seems to be shifting. The National Basketball Association has been asking for a cut, a 1 percent “integrity fee,” if such wagering is allowed. Five states have passed legislation and may be in position to offers sports betting soon after Supreme Court approval, according to Gambling Compliance, a Washington-based industry researcher. They are New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia.

Sports Betting Forecasts States Years Estimate Eilers & Krejcik Gaming 32 5 $6 Billion H2 Gambling Capital 18 7 – 10 $6.1-$7.9* Gambling Compliance 21-37 5 $2.0-$5.8 *Includes horse racing

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