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Poll: Americans more interested in sport if they gamble on it

Washington Wizards

Washington Wizards
In news that will shock no one, a study conducted by Seton Hall University in New Jersey has found that 70% of people in the US would be more likely to watch and engage in sport if they bet on it.

The report supports the opinion of Boston Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy, who said this week that legalised sports betting in the USA would lead to greater fan engagement.

The Seton Hall University study also found that 88% of people aged 18-29 would find sport more attractive if they could place a wager.

There is some very simple logic that applies to this kind of information — anyone that is invested in any result financially will also be invested emotionally in the hope of making a profit.

There were a number of other interesting findings from the study, which help offer some perspective on the new attitudes towards the growing industry:

  • 61% of people were concerned that sports betting would lead to more cheating and match-fixing in pro sports.
  • 40% agreed that sports betting should be legalised. 52% of those people were men and 28% were women.
  • Just 5% of people aged 18-29 strongly agreed that sports gambling leads to gambling addiction.
  • 64% of people aged 18-29 said they would like to bet on sports using their smart phones.

Rick Gentile, the former senior vice president of CBS sports, who directed the study, said that legalised sports gambling an inevitable boom for pro sports in America.

“Watching is the first step towards creating a paying fan,” Gentile said.

“In the 1980s, the leagues became aware that fantasy sports were heightening interest, and eventually, they embraced it. Now they appear to be ‘all in’ with something once impossible to imagine.”

Since the US Supreme Court opened the door for individual states to legalise gambling in May this year, regulated bookmakers accepting sports bets have opened in New Jersey, Mississippi, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Delaware and West Virginia.

Since the ruling, regulated sportsbooks have opened in Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia, while sports betting remains legal in Nevada.

The four major US sporting codes — the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL — have all forged partnerships with bookmakers.

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