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Supreme Court Sports Gambling Case: What Investors Need to Know

Welcome to the tenth episode of Full-Court Finance, the podcast from Zacks Investment Research focused on the intersection of sports, business, and the stock market. On this week’s episode, we discuss the current American sports betting landscape after the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Christie v. NCAA last week.

The case, in which the state of New Jersey and governor Chris Christie question the constitutionality of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), could prove to be a seminal moment in the legalization of sports betting in the U.S.

Sports gambling is currently illegal almost everywhere outside of Nevada. But if America’s highest court rules in favor of New Jersey—which many legal experts expect—Christie v. NCAA could eventually lead to more widespread legalization of sports betting throughout the country.

The American Gaming Association estimates that Americans currently bet more than $150 billion on sports every year. This massive figure is on the lower end of some illegal gambling estimates, as the NBA’s pro-sports gambling commissioner, Adam Silver, noted that the industry could be worth $400 billion in his now-famous New York Times op-ed.

The case threatens to shake up the Las Vegas sports betting world, but casino and gaming giants like MGM MGM, Las Vegas Sands LVS, Caesars CZR, and others could expand in order to get in on the proliferation of sports betting. However, U.K.-based betting companies such as William Hill WMH, PaddyPower PDYPY, and Ladbrokes LDCOY might also be ready to grab a share of the U.S. sports betting market.

Still, as the world shifts online, sports betting has also transitioned to the internet and mobile apps. This has led a few of the world’s biggest tech companies, such as Microsoft MSFT and Sony SNE, to put in patent applications in the betting category that could be of great importance if sports betting is legal throughout much of the U.S.

The Supreme Court’s ruling is not expected until sometime in spring 2018. But no matter what happens, it is likely to change the multibillion-dollar sports betting industry and could leave investors with a plethora of options to get in on the action.

If you have any questions about this episode of Full-Court Finance please feel free to shoot us an email over at [email protected]. Please also make sure to check out all of our other podcasts at zacks.com/podcast and remember to subscribe and leave a rating in iTunes.

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