Sports betting will be no home run for state budgets

SportsAssociated Press

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William Hill U.S. CEO Joe Asher on the growing popularity of sports betting.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The race to legalize sports betting is on now that the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed it in all 50 states, but states shouldn't expect to hit the jackpot with extra tax revenue.

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Just look to the handful of states that capitalized immediately after the court's ruling last spring and to Nevada, which previously had an effective monopoly on sports gambling. Even though the market is still developing, the returns to date have been modest.

In Nevada, revenue from sports betting has accounted for roughly one half of 1 percent of the entire state budget.

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The expected stampede of states seeking to legalize it has parallels to the growing trend toward legalizing recreational marijuana, which 10 states have done and others are considering.

As with marijuana, lawmakers say they are motivated in large part because sports betting has been a black market activity outside Nevada. Legalizing it would allow states to impose regulations and take in at least some money.

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Associated Press writer Regina Garcia Cano in Las Vegas contributed to this report.