U.S. top court backs New Jersey's bid to legalize sports betting

WASHINGTON, May 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for states to legalize sports betting in a defeat for the major American sports leagues, endorsing New Jersey's bid to allow such wagering and striking down a 1992 federal law that prohibited it in most places.

The court upheld the legality of a 2014 state law permitting sports betting at New Jersey casinos and horse racetracks and voided the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Some states see sports betting, like lotteries, as a potentially important source of tax revenue.

The ruling takes the United States a step closer to legal sports betting in numerous states, perhaps nationwide, rather than just in select places such as Nevada, home to the gambling capital Las Vegas. The current illegal sports betting market is worth billions of dollars annually.

Related: See championship odds for the remaining NBA playoff teams: 

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Championship odds for the remaining 4 NBA teams
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Championship odds for the remaining 4 NBA teams

Boston Celtics: 30/1 odds

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Cleveland Cavaliers: 13/2 odds

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Houston Rockets: 13/5 odds

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Golden State Warriors: 2/3 odds

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(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

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