Global Sport Institute Poll Examines Sports Betting in the United States

The poll shows that while Americans support legal sports betting in the United States and have seen or heard an ad for sports better, only a fraction of the public regularly gambling on sporting events.

Sports betting is everywhere in American pro sports

TEMPE, Ariz. (Jan. 31, 2022) - Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University recently conducted their national snapshot poll in partnership with OH Predictive Insights to examine perceptions and awareness around sports betting in the United States. 

The poll shows that while Americans support legal sports betting in the United States and have seen or heard an ad for sports better, only a fraction of the public regularly gambling on sporting events. Those who gamble tend to be younger Hispanic men and often gamble on other things than sports. Older women tend to be the least positive on the concept of sports betting.  The most common source of sports betting information tends to be television ads and word of mouth but varies widely by age – with older American favoring traditional sources and younger Americans favoring more tech-intensive sources. 

“The past decade has seen sports betting go from an untouchable moral vice to a key driver of excitement and revenue across the sports industry,” said Kenneth L. Shropshire, CEO of the Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University. “In this national snapshot poll, we wanted to understand whether political and legal decisions around gambling aligned with the views of the American public, and how much legalization was having an impact on Americans’ habits and perceptions when it came to wagering on sporting events. What we found is that people tended to support legal sports betting and states’ freedom to make it legal, but have not themselves begun to fully adopt it into their own routine as sports consumers.”

Key Takeaways: 

  • 68 percent of respondents have heard at least “some” things about legal sports betting
  • A massive plurality (44%) of respondent’s support U.S. adults being legally allowed to bet on sporting events, with just 16% opposing it.
  • Frequent bettors are primarily male sports fans ages 18 to 44, who consistently said they had become more engaged with sports since the legalization of sports betting.
  • Most respondents’ opinions remained the same before and after legalization
  • More than two-thirds said legalization did not change their perception of sports as fans or their viewing habits
  • Nearly half said they had seen no reference to potential harms of problem gambling
  • 85% supported mechanisms that would treat/prevent problem gambling
  • A majority said states should be able to choose for themselves whether they legalize sports betting
  • A majority said this would not create any changes in people’s betting habits
  • 62% said they do not bet

About Global Sport Institute

The Global Sport Institute is where diverse disciplines converge to thoughtfully examine critical issues impacting sport. As a cross-disciplinary enterprise, the institute's efforts are integrated throughout the entire university rather than within a single concentration. With an emphasis on expanding research, sharing knowledge, supporting innovation and advancing education, the institute’s mission is to use sport to create positive change throughout the world.

Questions about methodology: Mike Noble, OH Predictive Insights,, (480) 313-1837 

About OH Predictive Insights

 As a nonpartisan market research, predictive analytics, and public opinion polling firm, Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights provides accurate polling, focus groups, data analytics, and advanced targeted marketing to political and non-political clients alike. With leading professionals in the advertising, communication, polling, and political arenas, OH Predictive Insights will service political and non-political clients looking to improve their footing on key stakeholders and consumers. For more information, please call 602-362-5694 or submit a request online. 

Methodology: This national survey was conducted by OH Predictive Insights between Januray 13th – Januray 19th, 2022 from a nationwide general population (18+ year old) sample. The sample size was 2,400 completed surveys, with a MoE of ± 2.0%. All respondents were given the option to take the survey in English or Spanish; 30 opted to take the survey in Spanish, while 2,370 chose English. The sample demographics accurately reflected the target population’s age, gender, region and ethnicity according to population statistics derived from recent US Census data for US adults. This survey was conducted via opt-in online panel. The survey included both regional and racial/ethnic oversamples, with a minimum of 300 respondents coming from each of the 6 regions defined in the survey and a minimum of 200 respondents each of Hispanic/Latinos, African Americans, and Asians.