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Caesars to take sports bets in New Jersey, Mississippi casinos

Caesars Entertainment will begin taking sports bets at two of its casinos in New Jersey this week and in Mississippi next month, joining rivals in jumping into the business after a U.S. Supreme Court decision cleared the way for legal wagering on athletic contests.

The Bally’s and Harrah’s casinos in Atlantic City, N.J., will open sports books on Tuesday and Wednesday, while the Horseshoe Tunica and Harrah’s Gulf Coast resorts in Mississippi will follow in mid-August, Caesars said in a statement Monday.

The Las Vegas-based resort operator plans to soon begin taking sports bets on mobile devices throughout the state of New Jersey and from inside the casinos in Mississippi. Caesars is using technology provided by casino supplier Scientific Games.

Gambling operators are piling into the sports betting business following the May ruling that allowed states to legalize such wagers. Casinos and race tracks have typically been given the right to take such bets in the handful of states that have now approved it. Many of them have chosen to partner with operators of betting shops or online gambling sites in Europe, where sports betting has been legal for years.

Sports betting and online casino group GVC Holdings and gambling operator MGM Resorts International said Sunday they have formed a $200 million joint venture to provide sports and online betting in the U.S.

And FanDuel Group plans to create sports betting TV shows to coincide with the opening of gambling parlors in casinos and racetracks across the country.

Caesars, the largest owner of casinos in the U.S., said it may make its mobile sports betting product available in other states if it becomes legal and economically attractive. The company sold its Maryland Heights casino to Penn National in 2012.

Legislation to legalize sports betting failed to advance in the Missouri Legislature this year, but backers expect the issue to return in 2019. Casino operators say legalization would add an estimated $60 million in gaming revenues annually.

The Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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