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Survey Shows People Want Legal Sports Betting

The American Gaming Association hired the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research firm to survey Americans on legalized sports betting. The results were published last month and there is plenty of support for legal sports betting.

Surprisingly, just 38 percent of those polled realized that sports betting is currently illegal outside of Nevada. That lends support to the notion that sports betting is widely accepted. You can read odds in many papers and most sports media outlets have sports betting writers.

The number of those in favor was 55%. But just 35% were opposed and 10% were undecided. Naturally, more people said they would bet on sports if it were legalized. Many recognize that legal sports betting will lead to an increase in tax revenue, along with job creation.

Those who visit casinos were in favor by a 70-24% margin, while DFS players were 88% in favor compared to 7% opposed. Higher-income adults were also in favor by a greater percentage than lower-income adults.

Politics didn’t come into the picture, as Democrats, Republicans and independents were all in favor of legal sports betting. The same was true with those who view themselves as liberal of conservative.

A large percentage of people said they were more likely to watch a game they had bet on or talk about games with friends. That’s something the leagues should remember when their TV contracts are coming up.

Hockey fans were the most supportive with 67% backing legal betting, followed by NASCAR, golf and soccer fans. Basketball fans were the least likely to support legal betting at 58%.

Sports commissioners are not a dumb group of people. They may spill the company mantra regarding betting on their games, but they know bettors make up a fair portion of their viewers. Without it, they would likely see fewer viewers, leading to less revenue from TV and radio deals. So while they may not want to see it legal, they don’t want it to go away either.

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