Huge Majority In Favor Of Legal Sports Betting
Our elected officials are elected, presumably, to represent the wishes of the majority of their constituents. Right? If this is true, then about 75% of the lawmakers in Washington need to start pushing hardcore for legal sports betting in the US. I say this because a recent poll of US citizens reported that nearly three out of every four people in the United States are in favor of legalizing sports betting on a state by state basis.
The survey was put into action by the American Gaming Association, who in the past few years has been campaigning hard for sports gambling reform in the United States. The group hired Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a leading consultant firm in Washington DC, to conduct the study. In addition to nearly 75% of people in the US being in favor of legal sports betting, six out of 10 want to end the federal laws that ban sports betting in order to leave the decision to individual states.
The study was meant to draw attention to the attitudes towards sports betting in the US. There was overwhelming support for legal sports betting, as the AGA predicted, but there were also some very interesting bits of information coming to light. When survey takers were polled, one of the questions was where they stood on the political spectrum, to determine who stood where while supporting legal sports betting. This study revealed that there is massive support across party lines, making sports betting a bipartisan issue. 55% of liberals and 54% of conservatives support ending the ban on sports betting in the US.
While there is finally some party unity to celebrate, there is also a huge gap in civic knowledge to correct. Only 38% of Americans know that sports betting is illegal in 46 states. That figure drops down to 26% if we’re only focusing on millennials. As a millennial myself, at first I was a little shocked, but then I thought about it for a second. This really shouldn’t be surprising, as sports gambling is such a mainstream topic these days. Think about it, sports betting is everywhere. ESPN has an entire segment of Television dedicated to discussing the odds for any given game.
Any time a big championship game is coming up, for example, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament or the Super Bowl, newscasters report the event’s betting lines right along with the active rosters and season record of each team. You can do a quick google search to see what the estimated amount of money that will be bet on a Championship game is, and you’ll instantly see figures in the hundred-millions. $4.7 billion was bet on Super Bowl 51 alone in 2017. No wonder people have no idea what PASPA is.
These weren’t the only eye-opening figures to come out of this report, though. Nearly one in every five people in America have placed at least one bet on a sporting event in the past calendar year. Some interesting figures for ESPN and SportsCenter – 92% of people said that when they bet on sports, they watch the game more actively. 82% said they actively talk about the game and engage other people after betting on the game, and roughly the same amount of people follow individual players in the sport more closely after betting on the game. 79% said that a game was more enjoyable if they could bet on it. Maybe if these major networks start pushing for legal sports betting alongside the AGA, we’ll start getting somewhere faster.
Two out of three people believe that legal sports betting would improve community economies and bolster job growth. If they don’t listen to anything else in this survey, elected officials should listen to that. People love job growth. They want their communities to prosper economically. And guess what? They’re more likely to re-elect you if you are in office when that happens. So what are you waiting for, politicians in sports betting states? Let’s get a move on.