Americans are ready for sports betting

May 29, 2018, 3:30 PM GMT+0

68% of Americans think gambling is morally acceptable

Sports betting, which the Supreme Court ruled is something states can legalize, is okay with the American public, and Americans see it as something they’d like their own state to legalize. Two in three Americans in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, Republicans and Democrats alike, find gambling morally acceptable.

In a long list of behaviors, gambling is acceptable to about the same percentage as accepts marijuana use (65%), premarital sex (64%), and divorce (70%). There are a large number of behaviors that fewer people find morally acceptable: those accepting gambling exceed the number who think doctor-assisted suicide (53%), abortion (44%), killing animals for fur (23%), hunting for sport (33%), cloning humans (19%) and extra-marital affairs (12%) are morally acceptable. However, more people accept alcohol use (80%) and birth control (85%).

So the Supreme Court’s decision invalidating the national law is approved by nearly two to one (even though nearly half the public claims to have heard nothing about the decision). Democrats, independents and Republicans alike approve.

\Americans don’t have a problem with the Supreme Court making decisions that invalidate as unconstitutional state or federal laws. They approve of the Court taking such actions by about three to one.

In this poll, both Republicans and Democrats have favorable views of the Supreme Court. Historically, opinion can change after controversial decisions where partisans differ. After the 2014 Hobby Lobby decision, which allowed some organizations to claim religious exemptions from certain laws, GOP opinion of the court improved, while Democrats became more unfavorable.

As for the future of sports betting, many Americans are willing to have their state legalize it. While there are not big partisan or regional differences on this, there is a large gender gap. Men support legalized sports betting in their state by two to one, while women are closely divided.

Read more toplines and tables results here

Photo: Getty

Explore more data & articles