William Hill could be taking sports bets at Monmouth Park racecourse within weeks as the industry gambling industry reacted to the momentous verdict delivered by the United States Supreme Court on Monday.
The court lifted the ban on sports betting in the US after finding in favour of the state of New Jersey's challenge to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
Hills, who already operate sportsbooks in Nevada, have partnered with New Jersey racecourse Monmouth Park to provide sports betting and are waiting for the go-ahead from the state regulator.
Hills have also recently opened an office in Hoboken, New Jersey where they are building their digital operations.
Dennis Drazin, chief executive of Monmouth Park's operators Darby Development, said: "We started this fight back in 2012 and are grateful that the Supreme Court has recognised that we've been right all along. We can now shift our focus on commencing sports betting, which will be off and running at Monmouth Park as soon as possible."
Gambling operator share prices rocketed on the back of the news on Monday but could not maintain those rises on Tuesday.
Online company 888, who already operate in New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada, were one of the biggest climbers on Monday. Chief executive Itai Frieberger said: "888 has been keeping a very close eye on regulatory developments in the US and welcomes today’s announcement as an important step forward in the potential regulation of the US market.
"The potential for sports betting in the US is significant and, as the only operator in all three regulated US states, we believe 888 is uniquely positioned to exploit the potential growth opportunities in the US market that today’s ruling opens up."
Betting technology firm Sportech, the former owner of The Football Pools, is increasingly shifting its focus to the US from the UK. It already has more than 600 employees across the US and owns and operates off-track betting facilities in Connecticut.
Chief executive Andrew Gaughan said: "It is a very positive decision and supports Sportech's initiatives, investment and focus on US growth opportunities.
"We have over 600 staff already deployed across the US providing gaming solutions to our business and retail clients and while there is plenty of work ahead of us, we believe we are well positioned."
Analysts at Davy Research called the verdict a "momentous decision". However they added: "While we are . . . going to witness the creation of one of the largest regulated sports betting markets globally, we would just caution against assuming too big a prize too soon.
"The shape of a regulated landscape is yet to be determined, with many undecided variables ultimately dictating the size of the opportunity. One thing is certain — the strategic value of companies with sports betting capabilities increased yesterday, irrespective of the near-term earnings impact."