Poll Finds Half of Americans Now Approve of Sports Gambling
Eight years ago, only 39% of the U.S. public was in favor of legalized sports betting.
Bill Bradley isn’t one of them, but a new poll has found half of Americans approve of legalized sports gambling.
Conducted shortly before the Supreme Court ruling that essentially legalized nationwide sports betting, the Fairleigh Dickinson University poll found 50 percent of Americans favor legalized gambling while 37 percent oppose it.
In a 2010 poll conducted by the university, those figures were almost reversed, as the survey found 53 percent of Americans were against sports betting while only 39 percent were in favor of it.
Of the respondents who said they opposed gambling in the latest poll, 66 percent said they fear legalization will lead to more people developing gambling problems and 43 percent said they think it will lead to more organized crime. Damaging the integrity of the games being bet on (39 percent) was also a concern.
Of the people who were in favor of legal sports gambling, 52 percent said they supported it because it will create more tax revenue for states.
“Americans take a moral or practical approach to sports betting. Those who oppose it are worried about its effects on society. Others want to benefit from the money that is already flowing through illegal wagering,” said poll director Krista Jenkins. “Sports betting is about two things. It is about legalizing what millions of Americans already do every day. It is about intensifying the engagement of a nation of sports fans.”
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