New Jersey Residents Favor Legalized Sports Betting

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STATE—Sports betting is illegal in New Jersey, but many voters favor changing that. 

According to the latest results from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind, 63 percent of voters say they would favor making sports-betting legal in New Jersey at Atlantic City casinos, while 32 percent say they would oppose it. Men favor it by more than a 2-1 margin (69-27), more strongly than women (58-36). Self-described liberals favor it (70-27) more strongly than conservatives (56-38).

“Betting on sports is not an uncommon practice for many New Jerseyans,” said Donald Hoover, a professor in FDU’s International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and a former casino executive. “But for the most part, the state doesn’t supervise it, doesn’t tax it and doesn’t take any revenue from it.”

By a similar margin of 63 percent to 30 percent, voters also say they would favor making sports betting legal in New Jersey at horse-racing tracks. But voters split 48 percent to 43 percent on the question of legalizing sports betting at off- track betting parlors.

By a wide margin, voters oppose legalizing sports betting by telephone and the Internet. Just 26 percent said they would favor sports-betting by telephone and Internet while 66 percent said they would oppose it.

“Legal sports betting can be considered the next logical step for New Jersey’s gaming industry,” added Hoover. “It might allow the industry and the state to fend off the intense gambling competition from surrounding states.”

The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll of 728 registered voters statewide was conducted by telephone from March 30 through April 4, and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.


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