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UFC statement on the Supreme Court decision legalizing sports betting

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The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports betting Monday, which would allow states to legalize and regulate gambling on sporting events.

Many sports properties, like the NCAA, NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball, backed the continued prohibition of sports betting federally. The UFC, however, is in favor of the Supreme Court’s decision, per a statement sent Tuesday to MMA Fighting.

“UFC supports legalized, regulated sports betting, as we have seen firsthand in Nevada the success of well-regulated gaming,” the statement read. “We look forward to working with Congress and state legislatures to support policy that ensures the integrity of our sport and makes the best sense for our fans and our business.”

The UFC is in a unique position, because it is based in Las Vegas, where gambling on sports has long been legal. Casino moguls Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta were the former, longtime owners of the UFC.

In a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that banning sports betting was unconstitutional. In the opinion, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that Congress will now be able to regulate sports gambling, but if it doesn’t want to, then “each state is free to act on its own.”

New Jersey, Delaware, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia are likely to be among the states that will begin regulating sports betting. Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon allowed sports gambling previously, but Nevada was the only state where it was legal to bet on the outcome of a single game or fight. The UFC hosts events in New York multiple times a year and often travels to New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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