New Poll On Sports Betting: Younger People More Likely To Support Legalization In US

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Legal sports betting poll

New data from the Seton Hall Sports Poll shows that younger people are more likely to support the legalization of sports betting in the US. Meanwhile, a plurality — but not a majority — of respondents favored legalization.

The sports betting poll, at a glance

Americans are evenly split on how the US should handle sports betting moving forward.

Here is the question poll respondents — classified as “adults in the US” — were asked:

“It’s been said a lot of people bet on sporting events anyway, so government should allow it and tax it. It’s also been said legal betting on sporting events is a bad idea because it promotes too much gambling and damages the integrity of sports. Which comes closer to your view?”

The answer did not show overwhelming support for sports betting. In all, 46 percent said “allow it,” while 42 percent said it was a “bad idea.” The poll has a margin of error of four percentage points.

SHPS did point out that this was “a substantial increase” from a 2010 Fairleigh Dickinson poll. Then, 39 percent supported legal sports betting, while 54 percent were against it.

A poll last year by Seton Hall showed more support for sports betting.

Support for sports betting differs by age

Support for legal sports betting is greater among younger people. For respondents that were ages 18 to 29, two-thirds said the US should allow sports betting.

Support got lower the older the respondents were, down to 30 percent for those over the age of 60.

“If younger people carry those beliefs forward, and as they become lawmakers themselves, we could see a major shift in the legality of sports gambling,” said Rick Gentile, director of the poll.

Other sports betting questions

The entire poll focused on questions regarding sports betting. Similar to the main question above, the results show some support for sports betting, albeit not overwhelming:

The last question is interesting, in that the commissioners of the NBA and Major League Baseball have expressed interested in a federal framework for sports betting.

Fantasy sports and the poll

There were also a few questions about daily fantasy sports in the poll.

Fifteen percent of respondents said they have played DFS. However, that number appears to be a bit suspect. Extrapolating those numbers to the larger US population would mean something like 47 million people had played DFS, a number that does not match reality. The total of all fantasy sports players (season-long included) for the US and Canada is estimated to be just under 60 million.

Poll respondents were also asked this: “Do you think participating in fantasy activities is a game of skill and therefore should be exempt from gambling laws or is it just another form of gambling?” Sixty-one percent said it is gambling, while 23 percent said it’s a game of skill.