HomeNJ Sports Betting NewsNJ University Poll Measures American Public Attitude on Sports Betting

NJ University Poll Measures American Public Attitude on Sports Betting

Since New Jersey has been the pioneer on both the online casino and sports betting fronts, it should be no surprise that a key polling operation would be located in the state.

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While both the men’s and women’s basketball teams of Seton Hall University have had to settle this year for the second-tier National Invitational Tournament (NIT) rather than the coveted “March Madness” events, the school is in the news for a poll released earlier this month that tracks nationwide attitudes on gambling.

54% Support Legal Sports Betting

One key finding is that 54% of those surveyed support legal sports betting, compared to 22% who are opposed. That support is up from March 2022, when the support had a 47/27 edge.

The most intriguing subset of opinions came from a category listed as “non-fans.” In 2022, they barely reached a plurality of approval – 33% vs. 28%. But this month, the results showed 41% approving and only 24% disapproving.

“Casual fans,” “Sports fans,” and “Avid fans” also each showed an increased level of support for legal sports betting in the past year.

34% Have Placed a Bet on The Super Bowl

As should be expected given the expansion of legal wagering, the percentage of responders who said they had ever placed a bet on the Super Bowl rose from 28% a year ago to 34% this year.

Those in the “avid fans” category who have ever placed a bet rose from 54% to 60% – perhaps a lower figure than gambling-minded fans would expect.

People who bet are more likely to watch that game, of course – 77% of the general public who said they had engaged in sports betting said so, and 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,” he added. “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.”

50% Do Not Enjoy Betting Ads

A hot topic in the U.S. sports betting community is advertising – and it did not fare well in this poll. A half-full 50% of respondents said they do not enjoy betting-related ads, versus 22% who do. But in an interesting split, 44% of avid fans said they enjoy the ads versus only 30% who do not.

Non-fans have no patience for such ads – 61% said they don’t enjoy them while only 7% said they do.

“Advertising, if over-employed, can turn potential customers off,” said Seton Hall marketing professor Daniel Ladik, the chief methodologist for the poll. “If there are too many sports betting ads and sports fans don’t enjoy them, then brand equity for these brands will decrease – and future customers cannot be counted on.”

And it’s not just the quality of sports betting advertising at issue – it’s the quantity as well.

Overall, 42% of those polled say that there are too many sports betting ads shown during sporting events while only 9% disagree (meaning that virtually half of the respondents did not select either choice). Importantly, the distaste for the volume of ads was strongest among avid fans – with 60% complaining there are too many betting ads and only 10% disagreeing.

Typical state regulatory requirements that betting-related ads should come with warning labels received widespread support, from 64% of the general public and from 75% of avid fans.

An unusual poll question produced interesting results: should there be a ban on sports betting commercials during game broadcasts?

Non-fans liked the idea by a margin of 35% to 7%, though a majority did not select either choice. But those in the “avid fan” category were far more adamant: 61% supported such a ban while only 11% opposed the idea.

Those polled were about evenly split across all four categories of respondents in opposition to broadcasters providing updated betting odds during play – overall, such information was opposed by 47% while only 15% disagreed with that idea.

Avid fans turned out to be the group most concerned about minors being improperly exposed to sports betting ads – 60% agreed while only 12% in that group were not concerned.

35% Favour Sports Betting over Casino Gambling

Finally, there was a three-way split overall on the question of whether people have a better chance of winning on a sports bet versus a casino game – 35% said that’s true, 33% disagreed, and 32% weren’t sure.

But avid fans are firmly convinced that sports betting is the better choice, by margins of 61% to 21%.

The poll of 1,534 adults across the U.S. was 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.

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