Nat’l Poll: 80% of Americans Support Legalized Sports Betting

80% of Americans Support Legalized Sports Betting
And Disagree with Loophole Excluding “Home State” College Teams

South Orange, NJ, October 10, 2019 — Americans have embraced legalized betting on sports, bolstered by a Supreme Court ruling that okayed a state-by-state determination.

Fifty-five percent of the public supports the state-by-state process, with an additional 25 percent saying it should be legal in all states. The breakdown by age was dramatic for those saying it should be legal in all states, with 37 percent of ages 18-29 saying yes, but only 14 percent of those 60 and over agreeing.

The 55 percent approval of state-by-state marks a significant leap in less than a year, when a November 2018 Seton Hall Sports Poll found that only 40 percent of the nation felt it should be left to the individual states.

The combined “state-by-state” and the “legal in all states” adds up to an 80% approval for legalized sports betting.  Only 16 percent say it should not be legal.  In February 2017, only 46 percent of respondents said that betting on sports should be allowed (without including a differentiation between state-by-state and national).

The findings appear in a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted last week among 714 adult Americans on both landlines and mobile phones.  The poll has a +/-3.8 percent margin of error.

“Public acceptance of legalized betting on sports is moving at a rapid pace, likely tied to court approval,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall.

44 Percent Say Wagering Should Cover Both College and Pro Sports Teams

Forty-four percent say betting should cover college and professional sports (with 35 percent saying just professional).  Among those ages 18-29, betting on all sports – college and pro – was favored by 69 percent, while only 23 percent of those 60 and over favored it.

Only a Third Support Exclusion of “Home State” Schools from Betting

The public does not want the loophole that excludes betting on home-state schools, such as imposed in New Jersey and New York.  Only 32 percent agree with that loophole, with 58 percent opposing it.  (10 percent said they did not know or had no opinion).

The ban on home state schools means no gambling on an in-state school – whether playing home or away – or any college game being played within the state (such as a Bowl Game or an NCAA tournament game).
(Results breakdown and questions below).

About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone September 30 – October 2 among adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones.  The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been conducted regularly since 2006.Recently chosen for inclusion in iPoll by Cornell’s Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, its findings have been published everywhere from USA Today, ESPN, The New York Times, Washington Post, AP, and Reuters to Fox News and most points in between.

Media: Media: Marty Appel,;
Michael Ricciardelli, Associate Director of Media Relations, Seton Hall, 908-447-3034

The results:

  1. Gambling on sports has been made legal in a number of states. Do you think it should be made legal in all states, not made legal at all or continue to be done on a state-by-state basis?

1 – Legal in all states                                              25%

2 – Not legal                                                             16

3 – State by state basis                                           55

4 – Don’t know/No opinion                                      4

  1. Do you think legal sports betting should be limited to professional sports or should betting on college sports be legal as well?


1 – College and professional                          44

2 – Just professional                                         35

3 – Neither (Don’t give as an option)             13

4 – Don’t know/No opinion                               8


  1. Some states have determined that betting on their own state college teams should not be allowed within the state’s borders so anyone within the state can bet on college games just not those involving any of the state’s teams. Do you approve or disapprove?


1 – Approve                                                                32

2 – Disapprove                                                           58

3 – Don’t know/No opinion                                      10



One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall has been showing the world what great minds can do since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 rigorous academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Seton Hall embraces students of all religions and prepares them to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. In recent years, the University has achieved extraordinary success. Since 2009, it has seen record-breaking undergraduate enrollment growth and an impressive 110-point increase in the average SAT scores of incoming freshmen. In the past decade, Seton Hall students and alumni have received more than 30 Fulbright Scholarships as well as other prestigious academic honors, including Boren Awards, Pickering Fellowships, Udall Scholarships and a Rhodes Scholarship. The University is also proud to be the third most diverse national Catholic university in the nation.

During the past five years, the University has invested more than $165 million in new campus buildings and renovations. And in 2015, Seton Hall launched a School of Medicine as well as a College of Communication and the Arts. The University’s beautiful main campus in suburban South Orange, N.J. is only 14 miles from New York City — offering students a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. Seton Hall’s nationally recognized School of Law is located prominently in downtown Newark. The University’s Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus in Clifton and Nutley, N.J. opened in the summer of 2018. The IHS campus houses the University’s College of Nursing, School of Health and Medical Sciences and the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University.

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