Study reveals Americans want Live, Online Sports Betting to be Legal

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Legal Challenges to Sports Betting Canada and USOnline sports betting is big business all over the globe, but perhaps more so in North America, where laws either prohibit the activity or restrict punters to undesirable wagers.

In Canada, bettors are hoping for an amendment that would allow single-event bets, while nearly half of their southerly neighbors in the US want sports betting legalized across the nation.

Sports Betting in Canada Too Restrictive

Earlier this year, NDP Brian Masse introduced a piece of legislation that would have spread the laws surrounding sports betting. Canada currently restricts all wagers to parlays, meaning bettors are required to pick at least three teams to place a single bet on, and all of those picks must win in order to collect a prize.

Those are terrible odds and everyone knows it, especially the countless Canadians who take their business to international online sports betting sites to get a better deal. Masse knew it too when he introduced C-211, a bill that would have lifted the ban against “betting on a race or fight or on a single sport event or athletic contest”.

Unfortunately, despite the high rate of revenue it would have generated for the country, C-211was defeated by the House of Commons in September. That left Canadians to bet on parlays only, or visit internationally regulated online sports betting operations, as the majority have already been doing.

Poll Shows Americans Want Legal Sports Betting

Americans support Legal Live, Online Sports BettingAcross the border to the south, it appears that more Americans would like to see the activity legalized than not. The results of a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll were released this morning, in which surveyors asked Americans their opinion on the matter.

According to the study, “Americans love to watch sports, and…more of them support, rather than oppose, extending legal wagering on games beyond the handful of states that now allow it.”

That handful of states includes Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon. Only those 4 states came together in 1991 to grandfather in legal sports betting as the federal government prepared to sign off on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA).

According to the results of the national survey, 48% of Americans are in support legalizing sports betting, while 39% are opposed.

Of those supporting legalization, the poll cited the two most common reasons for their favor. 45% said it should be legalized because Americans are already doing it anyway. 39% of supporters said it would generate much needed revenue for their state.

As for those who oppose legalization, the most common reasons were the proliferation of gambling addiction (55%), possible involvement of organized crime (22%) and the potential to undermine the integrity of the games (16%).

“The public is divided on this issue, and it looks like the reasons behind the division stem from the age-old difficulty of reconciling the competing pulls of money and morality,” wrote the poll’s director and FDU’s Professor Krista Jenkins.

“People are clearly worried about the effects of gambling on individuals and their families, but also aware of the benefits that come from more money for the state from something that people are already doing,” she surmised.

Like their northerly neighbors, Americans have taken to placing wagers in the shadows, through illegal bookies and/or offshore online sports betting sites.

Future of Sports Betting, Canada & US

Masse’s efforts will likely be rekindled in 2017 with renewed efforts to expand the laws on sports betting. Canada would have to see a lot of political weight shift in that direction to have any hopes of success.

In the US, only one state – New Jersey – is fighting for legalization. Gov. Christie has spent years trying to convince the federal government to grant him that right. It’s been a steep, uphill battle, and it doesn’t appear any other states will follow suit unless New Jersey wins this unlikely fight.

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