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Americans in Favor of Legalizing Sports Betting

September 30, 2017
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In the U.S., sports betting has been banned in all but four states dating back to 1992, but a just published poll shows that a majority of adults in the country support changing the law.

University of Massachusetts at Lowell conducted a recent study with The Washington Post that found 55% of adults in the U.S. support legalizing betting on professional sports.

The results are a stark contrast to a Gallup/USAToday/CNN poll in 1993 that found over 56% supported banning sports gambling.

The new poll also indicated that only 33% of adults in the U.S. disapproved of trying to amend current laws that limit wagering on sports to just four U.S. states.

Younger Americans are in favor of sports betting the most. Sixty-two percent of the people polled between the ages of 18 and 49 said they believe gambling on sports should be less restrictive.

That means it is quite possible that the overall 55% of the people in favor of lifting restrictions will increase over the upcoming years.

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to review the merits of the 1992 PASPA or Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The state of New Jersey appealed a ruling by a lower court that it did not have the right to allow sports betting at its Atlantic City casinos or horse racing tracks.

Officials in New Jersey argue the U.S. is in violation its Constitution by making states enforce rules the federal government does not fully support and the U.S. high court will rule on that appeal soon.

The shift of public opinion might be enough to allow lawmakers in Washington to amend PASPA or repeal it and come up with new federal regulations governing sports betting.

Those leading efforts to legalize sports betting now have the support of Adam Silver the NBA Commissioner, and point to the face millions of people in the U.S. already bet on professional sports.

One recent report in the gaming industry said that legalized sports betting would generate more than $6 billion annually within the next 6 years.

The key to changing or amending current legislation (PASPA) rides on the decision the U.S. Supreme Court takes on sports gambling in New Jersey.