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US Sports Gamblers Respond to New Laws

December 7, 2018

Since 2006, Seton Hall University (NJ) has published regular surveys related to sports and sports business interests in the US. In it's most recent edition, some very interesting revelations have come to light about sport gambling. 

In May of 2018, the US Supreme Court lifted the federal ban against online sports gambling. As part of the move, it remanded responsibility for legalizing such activities to the state legislatures. Very quickly, eight states have moved to legalize online sports gambling. The list includes West Virginia, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Delaware, Montana and Oregon. It's a good bet many more states will soon follow suit. 

With online sports betting being very topical, the latest edition of the Seton Hall Sports Poll undertook to put forth a survey, asking Americans questions about legalized online sports betting. The results of the survey may surprise more than a few people. 

On the question of which jurisdiction should be used to legislate sports betting at the state level, the results indicated: 65% of the respondents believe it should be handled at the state level while only 26% believe there should be blanket federal regulations. 

On the question regarding the possibility of "game-fixing" because of the influence of legalized sports gambling, the results indicated: 61% of the respondents believe American sports leagues could encounter more game-fixing issues. 

On the question about which methods people plan on using to place sports bets, the results indicated: 40% of respondents indicated they would prefer using their mobile devices to place bets as opposed to going into a brick-and-mortar casinos or sports betting parlors. 

On the question about sports event viewership, the result indicated: at least 70% of the respondents claimed they would be more likely to watch sports on TV or in person if they had a bet on the game. For the age group of 18-29 year-olds, the number increased to 88%. 

Clearly, the legalization of sports betting in the US is going to have a profound effect on gamblers as well as the nation's biggest sports leagues. It will take time for non-gamblers to grasp the state of affairs. When they do, they too may become recreational sports bettors and fans. It's only been six months since states were given the go ahead to make decisions. It would be an understatement to say things have been moving fast.


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