Poll: Half Think Daily Fantasy Sports Should Be Legal; Half Also Think DFS Is Gambling

Written By Dustin Gouker on November 23, 2015
daily fantasy sports legality poll

Data from the Seton Hall Sports Poll revealed some of the current attitudes regarding daily fantasy sports, with responses indicating that more than half of the population believes that DFS should be legal, even though a similar percentage believes it is a form of gambling.

What poll respondents had to say about DFS

Poll respondents — adults across the United States — were asked a series of questions about daily fantasy sports (in addition to other topics related to sports). Here is the data the poll came up with:

  • 54 percent of respondents say DFS should legal; 38% said it should be illegal.
  • 50% said they believe DFS is a form of gambling; 30% said it is a game of skill; the rest responded “don’t know.”
  • 38% said they agreed with actions taken by the New York attorney general against DraftKings and FanDuel; 31% disagreed.
  • 40% said said betting on sports on the internet should be illegal, 47% said it should be legal.
  • 51% said state governments should regulate DFS sites; 35% said they should not.

You can see the full poll and exact questions asked here. The margin of error was 3.3 percentage points.

Interpreting the DFS data

A poll conducted in September by Seton Hall found that 52% of respondents believed DFS is a form of gambling, and 31% thought it is a game of skill — numbers that could indicate no change based on the margin of error. So, it’s possible that the prevailing sentiment on the skill vs. gambling debate has not changed meaningfully with the increased exposure and scrutiny that occurred in the past two months.

While the industry can be happy that a majority of respondents believe DFS should be legal, it still leaves more than a third of the population believing it should illegal. That is far from the overwhelming numbers the industry would like to see, as FanDuel and DraftKings have pushed advocacy efforts to stem the tide against jurisdictions that might seek to ban DFS.

There also wasn’t an overwhelming sentiment against the cease-and-desist orders from New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman. It’s possible those numbers might change in the DFS industry’s favor, if only New York residents had been polled, based on the idea that residents of other states are not affected by what happens in NY.

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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.

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