About 60 Percent Of Americans Don't Realize Sports Betting Is Illegal, Study Says

A new study from the American Gaming Association says that six in 10 Americans don’t realize sports betting is a legal activity in just the state of Nevada.

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research found that just 38 percent of respondents “recognize that it is not legal in most of the nation.” A 1992 federal law limits traditional sports betting to the Silver State (Delaware has limited sports betting in the form of parlays). The AGA is pushing for that antiquated law to be replaced or repealed, as there are now Las Vegas-style casinos in about 80 percent of states.

The study also found that a 55 percent majority of Americans support legalization. Only 35 percent oppose. Ten percent are undecided on the issue.

The breakdown is even better for the millennial generation, which the casino industry is trying hard to attract as the baby boomers age. Millennials support a nationwide sports betting framework by a 61-30 margin. Just 41 percent of seniors support sports betting.

The research also said that were it legal to bet on sports, 12 percent of American adults would be more likely to bet on sports, which represents roughly 28 million people.

About 20 percent of Americans bet on sports in the last year.

GQR Research obtained the findings through a mixed-mode survey from Jan. 24-30, 2017. The sample consisted of 1,200 adults over the phone. The survey carries an overall margin of error of +/- 2.45 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence interval.

In a prior study, the AGA found that Americans bet about $150 billion on sports each year.

Sports betting has never been bigger in Nevada. A record $231.8 million was won from sports bets in 2015. The handle was a record $4.5 billion last year, though win dipped slightly.