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US Opens The Doors To Sports Betting

The US Supreme Court has opened the doors to nationwide sports betting after ruling in favour of New Jersey’s law permitting wagering on sports.
Other states are now expected to legalise sports betting after the Supreme Court judges voted 6-3 to abolish a 1992 federal law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which prohibited sports betting in the vast majority of US states.
For the past 25 years gambling on sport in the US has been legal only on racecourses and in the states of Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon.
With such limited access it is widely estimated that sports mad Americans place up to $150 billion a year in illegal sports bets.
Since the Supreme Court agreed to hear New Jersey’s case last July another 20 states have adopted versions of sports betting bills that will take advantage of the ruling.
“The legalisation of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote on behalf of the court.
“Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but, if it elects not to do each state is free to act on its own.”
Online British bookmakers are now poised to enter the lucrative American market in earnest.
Shares in William Hill, Paddy Power Betfair and GVC Holdings rose steeply on the back of the Supreme Court news.
>b>Meanwhile UK bookmakers have lost a protracted dispute with the British Government of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals after it was ruled that the maximum permitted stake on the controversial electronic gaming machines will be reduced from £100 to just £2.
The decision, expected to come into force in 2019, will hit the high-street bookmakers hard.
Many are major sponsors of racing in the UK and rely on FOBTs for more than half their revenue.
The proposed staking change will reduce the Government’s tax from the machines, although there wil be an increase in duty applied to online gambling.
Bookmakers have claimed the drastic FOBT reduction could mean the closure of hundreds of betting shops and result in thousands of job redundancies.
It is projected there may be a loss of up to £60 million in racing media rights payments for live pictures from racetracks.
Matt Hancock, secretary of state for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and also the Member of Parliament for Newmarket, said the Government had decided to “take a stand” because “horse racing should not be financed on the back of this misery”.
“These machines are a social blight and prey on some of the most vulnerable in society, and we are determined to put a stop to it and build a fairer society for all,” Hancock said.

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