Should Gambling on Sports be Legal?

Sixty percent of Americans endorse legalized gambling on professional sports in their state, but only 42 percent approve of betting legally on college sports. Self-described sports fans are especially supportive of legalizing both professional and college sports gambling in their state. However, those who consider gambling a major problem in the United States are generally opposed to legalization. 

In May 2018, the Supreme Court struck down a 1992 federal law that banned commercial sports betting in most states. Since then, legislation in several states around the country has been enacted allowing legal sports betting.

Ten states have already legalized sports betting, while 30 states have introduced or recently passed legislation to legalize gambling on sports.[1] Across all states where sports betting is already legal, 71 percent of residents say gambling on professional sports should be legal, but only 47 percent favor the legalization of college sports. Where sports betting is not yet legal, 59 percent want to see gambling on professional sports legalized, but only 42 percent think betting on college sports should be legal.

While most Americans express little or no interest in betting on sports, there is slightly more appeal to gambling on sports in casinos, rather than online or at sports venues.

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