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Younger People Show Greater Support for Legalized Gambling on Sports, but Overall, Nation Is Divided  

SportsIf younger people are to set the trend for the future of legalized gambling in America, they are certainly showing support for the concept today.

Asked by the Seton Hall Sports Poll, "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?"…….

…….46% of Americans stated support for allowing betting on sporting events, while 42% said it was bad idea. This is a substantial increase from 2010 when a Fairleigh Dickinson poll showed 39% of Americans supported it, with 54% saying it was a bad idea.

Younger people are twice as likely to say "allow it" than those over 60. There is a clear age trend in support by age group: 67% of 18-29, 48% of 30-44, 42% of 45-59 and 30% of 60+.

The poll was conducted among 626 adults across the country on both landlines and cellphones, with a margin of error of +/- 4.0 %.

"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," noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute.

But where will the shift occur? A growing number of people, representative of general trends in the US, believe it should be on a state-by-state basis. 70% of all respondents support regulation on a state-by-state basis, with only 21% saying gambling should be regulated by the federal government. When asked this question in November 2014, 61% said state-by-state, and 29% said federal government.

The age trend also was demonstrable on a question of whether it was appropriate for NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's to call for legalized betting on a strictly regulated basis. 56% of those 18-29 supported his stance as appropriate, 34% of those 30-44, 28% of those 45-59 and 21% of those 60+ supported the stance. Similarly, addressing New Jersey's attempt of recent years to allow for sports gambling, 61% of those 18-29 said they should have passed the law, 50% of those 30-44, 47% of those 45-59 and 33% of those 60+ supported it.

Daily fantasy games, a recent entry into the sports gambling discussion, attracts young people far more than older ones. While nationwide, only 15% say that have participated, the number is 24% for those 18-29, 11% for those 45-59, and only 6% for those 60+. 61% of all respondents believe those daily fantasy games are a form of gambling, with 23% calling them a game of skill.

Asked "have you ever gambled on a sporting event?", 31% of all respondents said yes, 66% said no. This is in line with the same question, asked in November 2014, at which time 33% said yes, 67% no.

About the Poll:
This poll was conducted by telephone February 20-22 among 626 adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute.
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 3.4 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.

Categories: Business

For more information, please contact:

  • Richard Gentile
  • (973) 313-6201
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