A new pool released by the Fairleigh Dickinson University finds that close to half of Americans approve to legalize sports betting.
The pool finds that 48 percent support legalizing sports betting while 39 percent are against it. The main reason for supporting is that most people already do it anyway by using unregulated methods. Another reason is that legalized sports betting would also mean an increased revenue for the supporting states.
The major reasons against legalizing sports betting are the fear of gambling addiction, the possibility of organized crime and concerns about the integrity of the games.
“Betting on sports does not have an access issue for anyone in the United States,” said Donald Hoover, senior lecturer at the university’s International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. “Most of the sports betting in the U.S. is fairly easy to do, but happens in the shadows and in violation of federal law.”
There are currently four states where sports betting is legal: Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware.
“The public is divided on this issue, and it looks like the reasons behind the division stem from the age-old difficulty of reconciling the competing pulls of money and morality,” said Krista Jenkins, a professor of political science and the poll’s director. “People are clearly worried about the effects of gambling on individuals and their families, but also aware of the benefits that come from more money for the state from something that people are already doing.”
Besides the majority supporting legalized sports betting, the pool also finds that 68 percent of the voters think that there are already enough casinos in the United States, while 16 percent want fewer and 11 percent more.