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Pahrump reaction offered to possible nationwide sports betting

Experts this week offered their reaction to a U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling that the federal ban on sports betting is unconstitutional.

As a result, individual states are expected to make their own decisions when it comes to sports betting.

William Hill Race and Sports Book, a race and sports book operation with a location at the Pahrump Nugget, sent out a statement following the court’s decision Monday.

Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill, had a positive reaction to the news.

“We are excited, not just for ourselves, but for sports fans across the country,” Asher said.

Asher said, “We’ve (the organization) been working toward this day for a long time and take great satisfaction in the Supreme Court’s decision.”

“Just as we have with our 100-plus locations in Nevada, we look forward to working to make legal and regulated sports betting a big winner for consumers, state governments and all interested parties across the country,” Asher said in a written statement. “If we do this the right way, the only losers will be the illegal bookies that have been operating a massive black market.”

New Jersey-based Monmouth Park Racetrack is also a target for William Hill to put in operation.

“We’re going to get ready to open for business at Monmouth Park as soon as responsibly possible,” Asher said.

The American Gaming Association indicated that the ruling paves the way for the legalization of sports betting in all 50 states.

“Today’s decision is a victory for the millions of Americans who seek to bet on sports in a safe and regulated manner,” American Gaming Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman said.

“According to a Washington Post survey, a solid 55 percent of Americans believe it’s time to end the federal ban on sports betting,” Freeman said. “Today’s ruling makes it possible for states and sovereign tribal nations to give Americans what they want: an open, transparent, and responsible market for sports betting,” he said.

“Through smart, efficient regulation this new market will protect consumers, preserve the integrity of the games we love, empower law enforcement to fight illegal gambling, and generate new revenue for states, sporting bodies, broadcasters and many others,” Freeman said.

“The AGA stands ready to work with all stakeholders – states, tribes, sports leagues, and law enforcement – to create a new regulatory environment that capitalizes on this opportunity to engage fans and boost local economies,” he said.

The ruling gave new hope Monday that NCAA championship events can come to Las Vegas after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on single-game legalized sports betting outside of Nevada.

An NCAA policy states: “No pre-determined or non-predetermined session of an NCAA championship may be conducted in a state with legal wagering that is based on single-game betting on the outcome of any event in a sport in which the NCAA conducts a championship.”

If more states adopt legalized sports betting, such a prohibition would be difficult to enforce because it would greatly limit the places the NCAA could stage championship events.

Jeffrey Meehan of the Pahrump Valley Times and the Las Vegas Review-Journal contributed this story.

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