Sports betting is legal only in Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon as all the remaining states follow the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) which has banned sports betting since 1992. On November 2, the Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll was released and showed that the majority of those surveyed were in favor of legalizing sports betting throughout the country.
The telephonic poll surveyed a total of 1,019 adults spread across the country and has a margin of error set at 3.8 plus or minus percentage points. The results showed that more than 48 percent of those surveyed wanted sports betting legalized and found just 39 percent against sports betting. The poll also revealed that the most of those surveyed already believe that Americans are involved in illegal sports betting and legalizing the industry would bring in more revenue for each state.
Senior lecturer Donald Hoover who works at the University’s International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management stated that individuals living in American do not face any challenges accessing illegal sports betting sites and violate federal law in doing so. The American Gaming Association (AGA) data reveal that only $2 billion of legal bets was placed on college football and NFL games in 2016 compared to the estimated $90 billion in illegal bets.
The 39 percent who were not in favor of legalizing sports betting were concerned that legalizing sports betting would cause gambling addictions to increase, provide an opportunity for organized crime to increase and compromise the integrity of games due to match fixing.
In a statement, Krista Jenkins, a professor of political science and the poll’s director said “The public is divided on this issue, and it looks like the reasons behind the division stem from the age-old difficulty of reconciling the competing pulls of money and morality. People are clearly worried about the effects of gambling on individuals and their families, but also aware of the benefits that come from more money for the state from something that people are already doing”.
New Jersey state regulators are currently pushing for the sports betting ban to be lifted in their own creative way, and the horse racing industry has approached the U.S Supreme Court to make a decision on the matter once and for all.
The Fairleigh-Dickinson sports betting poll also revealed that the majority of those surveyed stated that they do not want more casinos to be opened in the United States. More than 68 percent of those surveyed said they do not want more casinos, 16 percent wanted the number of casinos to be reduced and only 11 percent wanted more casinos to be developed.