Support among US citizens for the legalization of sports betting is strong according to the findings of a new study, The State of Public Opinion on the Legalization of Professional Sports Gambling, undertaken by East Carolina University’s Center for Survey Research. The headline finding was that Americans nationwide are significantly more likely to agree than disagree that gambling on professional sports should be made legal.
Those who agree that gambling on professional sports should be legal outnumber those who disagree by a sizable 21-point margin, 47% to 26%. The report also notes that there are significant differences in opinion between men and women by age and income, but not politically.
A majority of men (57%) backed legal gambling on professional sports compared to only 38% of women, while older Americans (age 75 and older) are the least likely to agree (28%). By comparison, 57% of younger Americans (age 18 to 24) favor the legal approach. Taking income as a measure, Americans with household incomes of $120,000 or greater are more likely than less- affluent Americans to support legalization.
Politically, Republicans (50%) and Democrats (48%) are almost equally likely to agree that gambling on professional sports should be legal, with agreement lowest for self- identified Independents (41%).
On gender, the survey results reveal that a majority of men (57%) agree that gambling on professional sports should be legal compared to only 38% of women. Said the ECU: “These differences may stem from the fact that men already tend to gamble more frequently than women, as noted in one recent study. While there is a significant gender gap between men and women on the issue, it should be noted that a plurality of women still support the legalization of professional sports betting, with those in agreement for legalization outnumbering opponents by a 38% to 30% margin.”
Read the full survey here.