The US Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for states to legalize gambling on baseball, basketball, American football and other sports — a business worth tens of billions of dollars annually.
The nation’s top court ruled 6-3 in favor of New Jersey, the eastern state that has lobbied for years for the right to allow sports betting.
The court declared unconstitutional a 1992 federal law which banned wagering on professional and university sports except in four states where the market was already in place — Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon.
Congress had enacted the legislation — championed by then US senator Bill Bradley, a Democrat and former star basketball player for the New York Knicks — on the grounds that gambling would threaten the integrity of sporting events.
In its opinion, the high court said the US Congress reserves the right to regulate sports gambling directly, “but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on…