According to a new poll from Seton Hall, more people are supporting sports betting than last year.
The new poll found that among the general population, 54 percent said sports betting should be legal, with 22 percent opposed. For self-described sports fans, that number rose to 62 percent (20 percent opposed) and 74 percent of avid fans (just 15 percent opposed).
Currently, 33 states and the District of Columbia have legal sports betting.
When measured against a Seton Hall Sports Poll from a year ago, those numbers rose (47, 59 and 72 percent, respectively, in favor of legal sports betting in February 2022). The most significant rise came from non-sports fans, with 41 percent in favor this year (24 percent opposed). Last year, the number was 33 percent in favor, and 28 percent opposed.
These were among the findings of a Seton Hall Sports Poll among 1,534 adults nationwide. The poll featured a national representative sample from YouGov weighted on U.S. Census Bureau figures for gender, age, ethnicity, education, income and geography and has a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percent.
Asked if they have ever placed a bet on a sporting event (polled one week before the 2023 Super Bowl), 34 percent of the general population, 48 percent of sports fans and 60 percent of avid fans said they had, as opposed to 28, 41 and 56 percent respectively from one year ago.
The poll also found that those who bet are more likely to watch. Seventy-seven percent of those among the general public who said they had engaged in sports betting said that placing a bet makes it more likely they would watch a broadcast of the game. That number rose to 80 percent of sports fans and 79 percent of avid fans.
“The leagues and networks have an obvious interest in sports betting which is further verified by these numbers,” said Professor Charles Grantham, Director of the Center for Sport Management within Seton Hall’s Stillman School of Business, which sponsors the Poll.
“But this interest doesn’t come without caveats and costs. As the audience and revenue continue to expand and the stakes get higher, scrutiny must also increase – and that comes with a cost. The integrity of the games is paramount and must be protected at all times. The leagues will continue, in this context, to pursue an ‘integrity fee,’ and I think they have a valid argument.”
In 2022, the continued growth of the regulated sports betting market drove new records for handle ($93.2 billion) and sportsbook revenue ($7.5 billion), according to the American Gaming Association.