Following the New Jersey referendum on sports betting, IMEGA chairman Joe Brennan predicts the emergence of a $500bn market.

ON 8 NOVEMBER 2011, voters in New Jersey approved – by an overwhelming 64 to 36 margin – a referendum to amend their state constitution to permit legal sports betting at casinos in Atlantic City and at race tracks.

In the process, New Jersey will likely bring about greater liberalisation for sports betting in the US over the next few years, but the pace and scope of change depends on the speed at which state officials push the courts to make the appropriate changes and free up new state markets.

The result of the vote made national headlines because current federal law prohibits state regulated sports wagering in all but four states in the US. The New Jersey sports betting amendment therefore creates a true constitutional crisis, which must be resolved by the courts.

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