Industry Reports

Poll: Majority of New Jersey Residents Support Sports Betting Legalization

Following the recent decision of the US Supreme Court to overrule the statewide ban on sports wagering, many states have said they would be introducing special legislation to allow this type of bets. As the main driving force behind the fight for sports betting legalization in the United States, New Jersey is already well ahead of its neighbours and it seems its residents are all on board with the idea. A new poll revealed that the majority of adults in the state support the legalization of sports betting.

The results of the new survey, conducted by the Fairleigh Dickinson University, are in no way surprising, considering it was New Jersey that asked the Supreme Court of the United States to reconsider the federal ban on sports wagers. According to researchers, 62 per cent of adults across the state support permitting wagering on professional sports to expand outside Nevada. In fact, until recently, three more states allowed sports betting in some form or another, namely Delaware, Montana and Oregon. A quarter of the people (exactly 25%) oppose the expansion, while the rest (around 13%) do not know how to answer.

The poll, published Tuesday, May 29, includes interviews of more than 900 people aged 18 and older. These interviews were conducted over the phone in the period from May 16 through May 21 in cooperation with professionally trained interviewers from the Key Research Solutions of Provo Utah. They also asked the people why they supported or opposed the SCOTUS ruling. Of those adults who support the decision, 47 per cent say that they are in favour because of the more money that would come to the state. Also, 39 per cent of the people say that it is simply more practical and more logical to allow something that so many people are already taking part in, even illegally.

The major reason for opposing the decision is the concern of an increase in the gambling addictions. Around 44 per cent of the people refer to it, while another 20 per cent say that overturning the ban could lead to a rise in organized crime rates. In addition, 19 per cent of the people who are opposing the ruling are concerned that now, the professional sporting events would be less fair.

People Say ”No” to Integrity Fees

While most of the people in the State of New Jersey support the recent decision of the Supreme Court, they believe that leagues should not receive a share of the revenue. Professional leagues are now asking the states 1% of the total gaming revenue – in some cases, the percentage is even lower. Referred to as “integrity fee” due to the belief that this cut would guarantee the fairness of the sporting events, this share of the revenue is becoming the stumbling block in talks between lawmakers and leagues.

Most of the people in New Jersey, however, seem to be against this revenue sharing. Only a third of respondents (34%) are favour of the integrity fee, while the majority (62%) say “No” to it. This issue will be heavily debated in the coming months, according to Donald Hoover, Senior Lecturer at FDU’s International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. He explains that sports leagues believe they should get a cut from the gaming revenue because a lot of money are being made on their product. Sportsbooks, on the other hand, think that leagues are the ones making money because of sports wagering.

Another interesting highlight of the poll is the fact that men are largely in favour of sports betting legalization. A staggering 71 per cent of them support the latest SCOTUS decision on the matter, while 20 per cent oppose it. In contrast, only 53 per cent of the women are supportive of legalization and 30 per cent are in opposition.