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Post-UMD Poll shows Americans grow more receptive to sports betting

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According to a new survey by the Washington Post-University of Maryland, Americans are becoming more receptive to regulated sports betting. 66 percent of those polled support sports betting, an increase of 11 percentage points from 2017, the year before the United States Supreme Court paved way for betting to be legalized in states other than Nevada.

The Washington Post and the University of Maryland’s Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism and Center for Democracy and Civic Engagement conducted the survey virtually from May 4 to 17, 2022, across a random national sample of 1,503 individuals.

According to the poll, so far, betting has been authorized and made available in 30 states and the District of Columbia, with the other five states having approved it but not yet allowing access.

On the other hand, a 54 percent majority of Americans view that the growing number of states that allow sports betting is “neither good nor bad.” The remaining 23 percent are divided between whether it’s good or bad.

Furthermore, despite growing acceptance, 71 percent of Americans are “very” or “somewhat” apprehensive that the increasing prevalence of sports betting would lead to an increase in gambling addiction.

On the contrary, the majority of Americans (64 percent) do not know anyone with a severe gambling issue, while 21 percent have a close relative who has a gambling issue. 14 percent admit to having a close friend who struggles with gambling, and four percent have a gambling problem themselves.

As per the survey, 62 percent of sports bettors under the age of 50 have bet online, compared to 26 percent of those 50 and older. Bettors under 50 are also significantly more likely (17 percent) to have wagered at a stadium or arena than those 50 and older (three percent).

What’s more, seven percent of individuals aged 21 to 25 claim they bet on sports before the age of 21, compared to 11 percent of all adults who bet on sports before the age of 21. This indicates that the increased availability of online betting has not resulted in a disproportionate number of young individuals betting before the age of 21.

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