A new report using data from the Life, Liberty, and Happiness survey conducted by East Carolina University’s Center for Survey Research confirms that many Americans support legalized gambling on professional sports. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal law prohibiting states from authorizing sports gambling, and the states of New Jersey, Delaware, Mississippi and West Virginia responded by legalizing sports betting.
The survey results show differences of opinion based on gender, age and income, but not along political lines. Men, younger Americans and those with household incomes above $120,000 are more likely to agree that gambling should be legal. Republicans (50 percent) and Democrats (48 percent) fall within the range of statistical error.
“With nearly half of the U.S. states, as well as the U.S. Congress, now currently considering sports betting legislation, the issue of legalized sports gambling is likely to remain a major legislative issue at the state and federal levels for months, even years to come,” said Dr. Peter Francia, director of the Center for Survey Research. “The current state of public opinion on legalized sports gambling is thereby an important political matter.”
The ECU Life, Liberty and Happiness Project is a nationwide survey of more than 1,100 Americans conducted in May and June by the Center for Survey Research at ECU using mail, internet and phone surveys to reach adults across the country. Results are weighted to be representative of the U.S. population.
The project’s purpose is to highlight shared experiences among Americans as well as identify differences.
The initial report on the Life, Liberty, and Happiness survey, released in July, showed that a majority of Americans are satisfied with their lives, that only 23 percent trust the media, and that 1 in 10 adults live in a home with unsecured and loaded firearms.
The State of Public Opinion on the Legalization of Professional Sports Gambling
Survey findings include: