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Verizon Weighs Sports Gambling as Legalization Nears

  • $4.5 billion Yahoo deal could have a payoff in online betting
  • U.S. Supreme Court decision on gambling laws coming this year
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Verizon Communications Inc. is considering entering the multibillion-dollar market for sports betting, which could become legal in the U.S. before the year is out, according to people familiar with the matter.

The New York-based phone giant, which last year bought Yahoo and its popular sports fantasy business, has been meeting with experts and consultants to assess the potential for a sports-focused online gambling venture if the laws in the U.S. change, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision early this year in a case that challenges the current federal prohibition on sports gambling.