New Jersey’s ongoing efforts to allow its casinos and racetracks to operate sportsbooks suffered yet another major setback in early August but the regulation of daily fantasy sports could provide a more fruitful route to a regulated sports betting market in the US.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals rejected New Jersey’s latest bid to partially repeal the Professional Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the federal law blocking states (other than Nevada, and to some extent Delaware, Montana and Oregon) from offering legal sports betting to residents. But the ruling, despite going against New Jersey, comes at a time when discussions surrounding the legalisation of sports betting continue to gather pace.

The illegal sports betting market is estimated to be worth $150bn per year in the US, with a growing number of states looking to legalise the activity as a way of plugging budget black holes and providing better consumer protections. What’s more, the powerful American Gaming Association (AGA) has recently launched a sports betting task force to look at viable alternatives to the current prohibition, while the meteoric rise of daily fantasy sports (DFS) and eSports and growing calls for these activities to be regulated, have also been a catalyst.

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