BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Poll Says NJ Voters Favor Sports Betting

In the last election, voters approved of sports betting and many in Atlantic City rejoiced.

According to the most recent poll conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind, New Jersey voters are split 42 to 42 percent over whether people should be allowed to bet on professional and collegiate sports. But PublicMind Poll director Peter Woolley thinks the trend is moving in favor of permitting it. NJToday’s Mike Schneider sat down with Woolley to discuss the findings of the poll.

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In terms of attitudes among certain groups, Woolley notes that men were more likely to approve of sports betting than women.

Sports betting is already a multibillion dollar black market, says Woolley. And the state wants a piece of the action. Atlantic City is already facing increasing competition from neighboring states like Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York. Consequently, the state is looking for other sources of revenue by expand its gaming industry.

An internet betting provision, which would have permitted state residents to place bets from their home computers or cell phones, was taken out at the last minute from the proposed sports betting law. The changes were made in the hope of getting Governor Chris Christie to support it. Christie appears to be on the side of most New Jerseyans on this issue. The public, says Woolley, is strongly against internet betting.