The Supreme Court on Monday opened the door to an unprecedented expansion of legalized betting on college and professional sports, striking down a federal law that forbade states from authorizing such gambling.
The decision set off a rush among states to put plans in place — a New Jersey racetrack said it would offer sports betting within weeks — and could revolutionize spectator sports, with some envisioning real-time wagering at baseball stadiums on whether the next pitch will produce a hit or an out.
Casino stocks soared, and team owners wondered about future profits and a new way for fans to experience their product.
“This is a new frontier for professional sports,” Washington Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said in a statement. “And teams who don’t seize on this opportunity will be left behind.”
Officially, the sports leagues and the NCAA, which governs college sports, were less celebratory and more worried — about a hodgepodge of state regulations to deal with, for one thing, as well as a threat to the integrity of their sports if the explosion of gambling leads to scandal.
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