ALMOST HALF OF AMERICANS ARE O.K. WITH SPORTS BETTING LEGALIZATION
 
Latest Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll finds 48 percent support changing federal PASPA.
 
More ammunition in the drive to legalize sports betting in the United States became available Wednesday when the latest Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll found that 48 percent of Americans support changing the restrictive federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in order to permit US sports betting more widely.
 
Most respondents appeared to feel that sports betting was widely practiced anyway, and that regulation and control was the better option.
 
39 percent of respondents were opposed to the idea.
 
Commenting on the results, Donald Hoover, senior lecturer at the university International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, said:
 
"Betting on sports does not have an access issue for anyone in the United States. Most of the sports betting in the U.S. is fairly easy to do, but happens in the shadows and in violation of federal law."
 
The federal PASPA permits sports betting online in Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware, and is being strongly challenged (albeit unsuccessfully so far) by the state of New Jersey and its racing industry, which has filed an appeal in the US Supreme Court.
 
The Fairleigh Dickinson telephone poll used cellphones and landlines to reach 1,019 adults nationwide, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.
 
The study found that opponents to wider legalization are mainly concerned about gambling addiction (55 percent); the potential involvement of organized crime (22 percent) and concerns about the perceived integrity of the games (16 percent).
 
The poll also found that although people are more supportive of legalized sports betting, they don’t necessarily want more land casinos: 68 percent say the U.S. currently has enough casinos, compared to 16 percent who want fewer casinos and 11 percent who want more.