Seton Hall Survey Says 80 Percent of Americans Support Legalized Sports Betting

Posted on: October 10, 2019, 03:03h. 

Last updated on: October 10, 2019, 05:23h.

A new Seton Hall Sports Poll shows American attitudes toward sports betting are shifting in positive fashion and doing so in a big way.

More Americans are displaying favorable attitudes toward sports betting, and that’s good news for the industry. (Image: ESPN)

In the latest edition of the poll, the New Jersey university found that 55 percent of those surveyed are in favor of the current state-by-state process being used in the US. Last year’s Supreme Court ruling on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA) essentially gave states the power to embrace or reject sports wagering.

Today, 13 states have operational sports betting, with several others, including Montana and New Hampshire, as well as Washington, DC, close to joining that group.

In addition to the 55 percent of respondents that favor the current state-by-state system, another 25 percent believe sports betting should be legal in every state, according to the Seton Hall poll.

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,” notes the survey.

The most recent data stand in stark contrast to what the university found in 2017, when just 46 percent of those surveyed favored legalizing sports wagering.

Demographics Matter

The Seton Hall Sports Poll also discovered differing views among various age groups. For instance, 37 percent of those in the 18 to 29 age bracket, which includes Millennials and “Gen Z,” believe sports betting should be legal in every state. But that percentage dips to just 14 percent among those 60 years old and older.

Increasingly favorable attitudes toward sports betting among younger generations is a potential boon for gaming companies because of the demographic’s rate of adoption of technology.

Data out earlier this year revealed that gaming industry observers believe that within 10 years, 90 percent of sports bets will be placed on computers or mobile devices. Some markets are already home to robust online sports wagering. For example, about 80 percent of sports bets placed in New Jersey are done online.

“Public acceptance of legalized betting on sports is moving at a rapid pace, likely tied to court approval,” said Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll.

Some Want It All

The Seton Hall poll indicates 44 percent of respondents believe sports betting should include both college and professional, with percentages split along demographic lines. Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed in the 18-29 group believe states offering sports betting should feature college and pro games, but that figure slides to 23 percent among the 60+ demographic.

Another issue that is largely out of favor is states forbidding bets on local college teams. New York employs that tactic, and Oregon’s upcoming mobile betting platform will do the same. Recently, St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia and Purdue University in Indiana announced plans to bar staff and students from betting on their school competitions.

“The public does not want the loophole that excludes betting on home-state schools, such as imposed in New Jersey and New York,” according to Seton Hall. “Only 32 percent agree with that loophole, with 58 percent opposing it.”

Such bans mean bettors cannot wager on games involving local universities, no matter where the events are held. For example, Oregonians using the state lottery’s betting platform can’t bet on the Oregon Ducks when the team plays in that state, visits a rival Pac-12 campus, or when the school is in a bowl game or the NCAA tournament.