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Americans Favor Legalized Sports Betting

Americans Favor Legalized Sports Betting, But Also Believe it Impacts the Integrity of the Games

South Orange, NJ, April 26, 2018 — By a margin of 55% – 35%, the American public favors legalized betting on sports events, according to a poll conducted this week by the Seton Hall Sports Poll.

And by a margin of 48% – 42%, those same respondents feel that legalized betting would negatively impact the integrity of sporting events. Even among those favoring legalized gambling, one of three believes that it would have a negative impact.

“It’s outrageous when you think about it,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute. “It comes close to saying ‘We don’t care about the legitimacy of the games, what matters is being able to bet on them. A majority favors gambling, and by a slimmer margin think the games might be fixed as a result.”

The poll was conducted over landlines and cellphones to 736 randomly selected people across the country, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.7%.

The poll also asked whether people feel that sports betting should be controlled by individual states, or by the federal government. (The U.S. Supreme Court is about to rule on that issue).

62% said sports gambling should be under state control, with 27% saying the federal government should control it.

Broken down by gender, men are much more inclined to support legalized betting, with 63% saying yes.

Only 47% of women favored legalized betting.

Approval fell significantly by age, with 68% support from ages 18-29, down to 37% at age 60 and over. Similarly, the support number fell based on level of education, with 71% supporting legalized gambling among those who did not finish high school, to 39% for those with post-graduate degrees.

Those who favor legalized betting think it should cover both professional and college sports by a margin of 49% – 36%.

The Official Seton Hall Sports Poll podcast discussing this topic with Seth Everett and Rick Gentile can be found at https://itunes.apple.com/mt/podcast/seton-hall-sports-poll/id1053266467.

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been a catalyst for leadership — developing students in mind, heart and spirit — since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 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, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. Its attractive main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles by train, bus or car from New York City, offering a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The university’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark.

For more information, visit www.shu.edu.

About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone April 23-25 among 736 adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute, with cell phone interviewing provided by Braun Research.

Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. 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.

Media: Media: Marty Appel, AppelPR@gmail.com; Rick Gentile (917) 881-9489
Michael Ricciardelli, Associate Director of Media Relations, Seton Hall
michael.ricciardelli@shu.edu, 908-447-3034

The results:

  1. Would you be in favor of legalized betting on sports events?

Yes       55%

No       35

Don’t know/No opinion       10

 

(IF NO TO ABOVE SKIP TO QUESTION 3)

  1. Would you be in favor of betting on just professional events or should betting on collegiate events be legal as well?

Just professional                   36

Both professional and collegiate       49

Don’t know/No opinion       15

 

  1. Do you think legalized sports betting would negatively impact the integrity of sporting events?

Yes       48

No       42

Don’t know/No opinion       10

The US Supreme Court is about to rule on whether states should be allowed to legalize betting on sports events or whether it should be up to the federal government to decide. Do you think sports betting should be under state control or federal control?

State control       62

Federal control       27

Don’t know/No opinion       12