The leagues seem to have intensified their fight against sports betting but behind closed doors their stance has softened and some politicians are ready to legitimise sports betting.

The New Jersey Senate has passed a bill repealing the ban on sports betting. To the uninitiated that might sound exciting but everybody knows this is just the latest move in a five-year battle that shows little sign of ending.

One month ago the US Department of Justice joined the national sports leagues in their federal court motion to make damn sure New Jersey fails. Most investment banks are not even bothering to model for a legitimised sports betting market despite fanciful predictions about the future of online gaming in the US.

“It’s not going to happen anywhere anytime soon,” one respected analyst told me. Attendees returning from G2E told me that nobody outside New Jersey really cares.

However, there are other well-connected, trusted sources saying that the leagues might be fighting tooth and nail in public but behind closed doors they are starting to talk...

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