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COMMENTARY: U.S. Supreme Court ruling on sports betting could unleash a whirlwind of opportunity

The world is about to change for sports gambling … for Las Vegas … for casino companies … and for me. The opportunity of a lifetime is only days away.

The U.S. Supreme Court will announce a ruling any day now in Christie v. NCAA, which deals with the federal ban on state-sponsored sports gambling. Court experts who watched the arguments back in December believe the justices will rule in favor of New Jersey.

That means legal football betting at New Jersey casinos and racetracks starting this fall.

Of greater importance, 20 states signed on in support of New Jersey. Many of these states will join New Jersey and be open for gambling by September. I predict within five years, 30 or more states will offer legal sports gambling. This decision will open up the largest expansion of gambling in U.S. history.

Why? Because every red-blooded American male loves to bet on sports. It’s in our blood. Americans love sports. And we are a nation of gamblers — we love putting our money where our mouths are.

Experts estimate about $5 billion is bet annually on the Super Bowl — with most of it bet illegally. More than $9 billion is bet on March Madness — almost all of it illegally.

Keep in mind, these are normally law-abiding Americans betting illegally with bookies or offshore.

Can you imagine the dollars bet once it’s all legal?

Opposition to sports wagering has never made sense to me. It’s as American as apple pie. I grew up on the rough-and-tumble streets of New York, where most of my friends were betting on sports with a bookie by age 16. By that same age, I was the subject of newspaper stories calling me “the Betting Whiz Kid” and the “next Jimmy the Greek.”

By age 27, I was Jimmy the Greek’s partner on CNBC (then called Financial News Network). I soon left to start my own business as a professional sports handicapper. Over the years, I helped to explode the fledgling sports handicapping industry. My TV show, radio show and website became the brand names of the industry. I attracted several million callers and clients. My guesstimate was $2 billion a year was wagered based on my advice.

My career was profiled by numerous networks and publications. The media dubbed me “The Prince of Prognosticators,” “The King of Vegas Sports Gambling” and “America’s Handicapper.”

There was one problem, though. Sports gambling was illegal in 49 states. My advice was 100 percent legal, but the act of betting was not. That drawback dramatically limited the growth of our industry. Today, that is all about to change. The Supreme Court is poised to legitimize sports gambling and bring it into the big leagues (excuse the pun). The NBA commissioner has given his blessing. Heck, they even want a cut of the action.

This makes sense — common sense and dollars and cents. Why would we want all the profits to go to the Gambino crime family or Russian mobsters? The tax revenue generated by legal sports gambling will create thousands of jobs and fund tax cuts that conservative businessmen such as me crave.

On a selfish note, all of those millions of new amateur sports gamblers will need professional guidance, research, analysis and advice. I’ll be there to provide it to the widest audience of my lifetime. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity my entire adult life. And with President Donald Trump’s tax cuts and deregulation in place, the U.S. economy is set to experience a Reagan-like boom. Timing is everything in life.

Get ready, Vegas. The world is about to change. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. There is a fortune to be made. And Las Vegas will be at the center of this new universe.

God bless capitalism.

Contact Wayne Allyn Root at Wayne@ROOTforAmerica.com. Hear or watch the nationally syndicated “WAR Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” from 3 to 6 p.m. daily at 790 Talk Now and at 5 p.m. on Newsmax TV.

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