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Survey Says: Americans Want Sports Betting No Matter What it Does to the Game

When it comes to regulated sports betting, Americans want to start wagering right away and they don’t seem to care much about what it does to the integrity of the games they’re wagering on. That’s one of the major takeaways from a recent survey conducted by the Seton Hall Sport Poll.

They survey, which was administered by the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University in Pennsylvania surveyed the views of 736 Americans across the country about their views on sports betting. What they found was that Americans favor legal sports betting by a margin of about 55 percent to 35 percent who oppose. They also found that 48 percent of Americans think that regulated sports betting would negatively impact the credibility of the game. That is to say, they think that game fixing could be a real problem.

These seemingly incompatible views left poll director Rick Gentile a bit gobsmacked as he commented:

It’s outrageous when you think about it. It comes close to saying ‘We don’t care about the legitimacy of the games, what matters is being able to bet on them. A majority favors gambling, and by a slimmer margin think the games might be fixed as a result.

The results suggest that years of campaigning by professional sports leagues about the potential for game fixing when big money is on the line. (Which doesn’t address the fact that game fixing is less likely to be exposed when bookmakers operate in an unregulated environment.)

A decision from the US Supreme Court on the legality of sports betting in the United States is expected to come down sometime in the next couple of weeks.

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