HomeThe ShuffleAmericans Say Pro Betting OK, College Not So Much

Americans Say Pro Betting OK, College Not So Much


A new poll suggests that most Americans favor having legal sports betting in their states. They are, however, less comfortable with gambling on college games than the pros.

In a March 14-18 phone survey of 1,063 adults conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, six in 10 respondents said they want betting on professional sports to be legal in their state, while only four in 10 feel that way about college athletics.

Support skewed higher in states where betting is already legal—71 percent favoring betting on the pros versus 59 percent in states that haven’t legalized. Those in favor of betting on college games likewise increased in the newly regulated markets but only to 47 percent, although that support was slightly higher (52 percent) among respondents who said they’re “very interested” in sports, while it was slightly lower (38 percent) among those “not very interested.”

Not surprisingly, men were bigger supporters than women of pro betting (65 percent versus 56 percent) and college betting (45 percent versus 40 percent).

Eight states have legalized sports betting since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a longstanding federal ban

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