With New Jersey reportedly set to make another push at legalizing sports betting, a new Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll released Wednesday shows there is support for doing so nationally.Some 48 percent of Americans surveyed said they were in favor of changing federal laws to make sports betting legal, compared with just 39 percent who said they were opposed to the idea.
The last time the poll was conducted in 2012, 51 percent said they were in favor.
“With the World Series almost behind us, and the NFL and NBA seasons underway, Americans will be doing a lot of betting,” poll director and FDU professor Krista Jenkins said. “Many would enjoy the opportunity to wager in places other than office pools and among friends.”
Supporters of legalized sports betting pointed out to the poll that there is already lots of wagering going on and that it could bring in new revenues.
“Betting on sports does not have an access issue for anyone in the United States,” said FDU senior lecturer Donald Hoover. “Most of the sports betting in the U.S. is fairly easy to do but happens in the shadows and in violation of federal law.”
But despite the support for legalized sports betting, some 68 percent of Americans told the poll that they feel the U.S. already has an adequate number of casinos.
“With an overwhelming number who believe there are enough casinos, we may have reached a saturation point for casino expansion in the United States,” Jenkins said.