New Jersey residents favor sports betting, even with federal ban

New Jersey residents favor sports betting in the Garden State, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind survey.

Forty-five percent of those polled said New Jersey should allow sports betting at racetracks and casinos even if federal law prevents it from doing so, while 38 percent said New Jersey should wait for Congress to repeal the federal ban.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents gave their support to sports betting irrespective of the federal ban, compared with 53 percent of respondents in a poll taken in September 2011.

“Although support is not overwhelming, these numbers suggest the public is cautiously behind the goal of moving forward with legalized sports betting,” said Krista Jenkins, executive director of Public Mind and a professor of political science.

A majority of men endorse moving forward without congressional repeal (53 percent) compared with 38 percent of women. Republicans (52 percent) back the idea more than Democrats (42 percent).

“The numbers suggest that men are more accustomed to placing sports bets … so their green light to legalized sports betting even in defiance of federal law should come as no surprise,” Jenkins said. The statewide telephone survey of 945 registered and unregistered voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie decision to allow sports betting in the state has run into strong opposition from Major League Baseball, the National Football League and other professional and collegiate sports governing bodies which argue it violates federal law.

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at or 702-477-3893.


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