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Could Nevada take a hit now that sports betting could be legalized in more U.S. states?

Could Nevada take a hit now that sports betting could be legalized in more U.S. states?
Could Nevada take a hit now that sports betting could be legalized in more U.S. states?

Nevada's effective monopoly on sports betting is over.

Monday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to overturn a federal law that allowed Nevada to be the only state where a person could wager on the results of a single game.

The decision allows other states to get in on the legal sports betting action. According to one gaming research firm, 31 other states could legalize sports betting in the next five years.

"I think the decision was a long time coming."

"We welcome the fact that now states can decide for themselves how they want to regulate sports gambling," said David Farahi, COO of the company that owns the Atlantis.

The CEO of William Hill, which operates more than 100 sports betting locations in the Silver State, wrote that he was "excited, not just for ourselves but for sports fans across the country."

"If we do this the right way, the only losers will be the illegal bookies that have been operating a massive black market," said CEO Joe Asher in a statement.

But could Nevada take a hit as other states cash in on legalized sports betting?

The former chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board isn't too worried.

"Nevada's not going to take a noticeable hit in terms of gross gaming revenues," said A.G. Burnett.

Burnett pointed out that sports bets make up a very small percentage of casino winnings.

Last year, just 2.2 percent of Nevada gaming revenues came from the sports books.

"When you look at baccarat, poker, slot machines, all other games, (sports betting) really doesn't come close to the others," Burnett said.

Even if there was a decrease in sports betting due to bettors making wagers in their home states, it wouldn't hurt too much, according to Farahi.

He said sports books aren't designed to be huge money makers for the casinos, but they do get people inside the casino doors.

"The sports book as a business by itself doesn't make a lot of money because it's a very low margin business," Farahi said.