Poll comes as NFL moves Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas
Legal Sports Report

Majority Of NFL Team Fans In New Poll: Let States Decide On Legalizing Sports Betting

NFL sports betting poll
A majority of fans of NFL teams said that they would favor a change to the federal sports betting prohibition that would allow states to decide whether to legalize wagering on games.

That’s per new polling data commissioned by the American Gaming Association before the NFL voted to move the Raiders to Las Vegas.

NFL fans on sports betting: Top-level takeaways

The poll — conducted by Morning Consult — gathered the opinions of more than 40,000 NFL fans over several weeks in December and January.

The main takeaways from the poll:

  • A majority of fans of varying NFL teams support changing federal gaming laws to allow states to regulate legal sports betting.
  • A large portion of NFL team fans are likely to bet on the NFL if sports betting were legal in their state.
  • NFL team fans are more likely to watch, follow and enjoy the NFL when betting.

The data should make the NFL feel good moving forward on sports betting

The NFL is constantly worried about its image. That especially applies in respect to game integrity and betting.

The league has downplayed the presence of Nevada sports betting in the future home of the Raiders, Las Vegas. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league is still opposed to legalized sports betting. However, he also noted that the regulated environment in Nevada “could be beneficial” to game integrity.

The fact that NFL fans are not saying that legal sports betting should stay off the table should help embolden pro sports leagues executives moving forward.

In fact, direct opposition to states handling sports betting was relatively low. Generally, less than one in five fans said they would not support legalizing sports betting; about one in three said they had don’t know or had no opinion.

All the leagues are moving forward on sports betting

In the past few weeks, we have seen positive signs from nearly every major pro sports league in the US.

Of course, the NHL is also headed to Vegas, with a franchise launching next season.

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Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.