Poll: Roughly half of U.S. feels legalized sports betting will call integrity of games into question

sports businessConcern over the integrity of sports results has gone hand in hand with the question of legalized gambling over the years, and Monday’s Supreme Court ruling, which ended the federal ban on sports wagering, has intensified the discussion even further.

The most recent Seton Hall Sports Poll (conducted April 23-25 among 736 adults in the U.S. with a +/- 3.7% margin of error), found that 48% feel legalized sports betting would negatively impact the integrity of sporting events.

This was consistent with a poll taken by the SHSP in 2014, when 49% answered affirmatively to the same question. When the question was posed in 2012, 53% said the sports integrity would be negatively impacted.

“People tend to be in favor of gambling on games, but a large number – nearly half the population, believes the outcome of games could be subject to questioning,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by the Stillman School of Business and its Sharkey Institute. “ Whether the games are fixed or not isn’t the question so much as whether public confidence is eroded. That’s a big problem for sports leagues.”