U.S. top court paves way for legalized sports betting

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The U.S. Supreme Court had reached a landmark ruling, lifting the federal ban on the federal anti-sports gambling law, giving states the green light to allow betting on sports.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote the majority opinion, joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Elena Kagan and Neil M. Gorsuch.

The 6-3 ruling is a victory for New Jersey and other states who have considered allowing sports gambling as a way to encourage tourism and tax revenue.

States can legalize sports gambling, the Supreme Court ruled.

An estimated $150 billion a year - and as high as $400 billion - is placed in illegal betting on sports in the United States each year.

They called New Jersey's law a threat to the integrity of competition, fearing game-fixing and other types of cheating. Prior to Monday's decision it was the only state east of Las Vegas that could legally offer a sports book, though it was limited only to parlay betting on National Football League games.

Geoff Freeman, president of the American Gaming Association industry group, welcomed the decision, saying it favors "an open, transparent and responsible market for sports betting". It unconstitutionally required states to prohibit sports betting under their own laws. However, the state later changed its mind and passed a law to allow sports betting.

The decision fully striking down PASPA was one of two possible outcomes that had been deemed as increasingly likely since the Supreme Court surprisingly agreed to take the case in late June 2017.

The NFL was among five professional sports leagues that also included the NCAA, NBA, NHL and MLB, along with the Department of Justice, that argued it violated the Tenth Amendment's protection against anti-commandeering federal laws.

Mississippi - Gaming Commission Deputy Director Jay McDaniel has previously stated that the state would need a few months to propose regulations and have them approved following a Supreme Court decision, but that implementation before the end of 2018 would be feasible.

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