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UK bookmakers eye jackpot after 'landmark' US ruling overturns sports betting ban

British bookmakers are in line to hit the jackpot after a ruling by the US Supreme Court overturned a longstanding ban on sports betting.
Shares in GVC, William Hill and Paddy Power Betfair soared by as much as 12pc as six of the US court’s nine judges voted in favour of scrapping a 1992 law which outlawed gambling on individual sporting events.
The decision to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (Paspa) is expected to trigger a gold rush by British bookmakers in a new multibillion-dollars market.
The casino-backed American Gaming Association estimates that $150bn (?110bn) of illegal bets are placed by Americans every year. Some states are now likely to quickly enact laws and regulations which will allow them to earn tax dollars.
Nevada is currently the only state to allow betting on individual sporting events. Delaware, Oregon and Montana are not covered by Paspa because they allowed other forms of sports betting prior to its implementation.
UK bookmakers eye jackpot after 'landmark' US ruling overturns sports betting ban

Six of the nine US Supreme Court judges ruled in favour of overturning Paspa, a federal law which prohibited sports betting in all but four US states
The number of states likely to offer sports betting in light of the Supreme Court ruling is predicted to be in double digits by the end of the year.
New Jersey, which brought the case against the National Collegiate Athletic Association, is likely to be one of the first, quickly followed by Delaware, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia.
William Hill’s boss Philip Bowcock said the ruling was a “landmark moment” for sports betting in the US and his company.
“Now, all attention shifts to the states where steps have already been taken to prepare for this day,” he said.
“Legalised sports betting means that consumers and sports leagues will have greater protection, states will benefit from the raising of taxes and there is the potential for over 100,000 jobs to be created.”
UK bookmakers eye jackpot after 'landmark' US ruling overturns sports betting ban

William Hill's boss Philip Bowock called the decision by the US Supreme Court a 'landmark' one for the gambling industry and his company

Credit:
Henry Thomas
Mr Bowcock expected to be up and running in New Jersey “as soon as reasonably possible” and would update on other states shortly after.
Investec’s gambling industry analyst Alistair Ross said the decision was “quite a big deal”.
He said gambling companies had talked about “some very significant numbers” in terms of the potential impact on sales and profits from a legalised sports betting industry in the US.
“It’s probably the best outcome there could have been from the gambling industry’s perspective,” he added.
However, Mr Ross noted that individual states could regulate in different ways. He thought New Jersey would allow for online gambling like in the UK, but suggested a state like Mississippi might only allow sports betting in licensed premises. This would mean a UK company having to strike a deal with a bricks and mortar casino owner to benefit.
Paddy Power Betfair chart
Goodbody’s gaming and leisure analyst Gavin Kelleher said the ruling was an “obvious positive” for UK gambling stocks.
“It could see European operators speculated as potential M&A targets given the unique sports betting skill set they possess,” he said.
But Mr Kelleher added that states would be able to set tax rates on gambling, which could make some locations less profitable. There is also uncertainty, he suggested, about who will be allowed to operate and what levels of advertising would be permissible.
The major UK gambling companies already have operations in the US, although these are now likely to grow rapidly. Paddy Power Betfair, whose shares rocketed more than 12pc to ?79.75, owns TVG, the horse and greyhound racing online betting business and cable channel.
William Hill, which rose almost 11pc to 313.1p, earned 3pc of its ?1.7bn revenue in 2017 from the US due to its dominant position in sports betting in Nevada, while GVC rose more than 7pc to 940p thanks to its three existing gambling licences.
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