Virus could lead more states to OK sports, online betting

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This June 20, 2019 photo shows people playing slot machines at the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City N.J. New Jersey lawmakers are considering a pair of bills introduced on May 4, 2020 that would give Atlantic City's casinos millions of dollars in tax relief to help them recover from the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

By WAYNE PARRY

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The coronavirus outbreak could lead to a quicker expansion of sports betting and internet gambling in the U.S. as states deal with huge budget deficits. So far, 18 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia offer sports betting, and four offer internet gambling. Numerous others are likely to follow soon. New York state Sen. Joseph Addabbo says his state has a multibillion-dollar deficit, due largely to the virus outbreak. He wants to approve mobile sports betting. Ohio is among states moving forward with gambling expansion bills. Gambling industry experts say the virus is accelerating trends that were already in motion, including a growing acceptance of sports and online gambling.

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