PATERSON – If today were Election Day, an amendment to the state Constitution allowing gambling on sporting events would “easily win approval,” according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.
The amendment to allow sports betting at race tracks and casinos will be on the Nov. 8 election ballot, and the Rutgers-Eagleton poll shows it has the support of 58 percent of likely voters with only 31 percent opposed.
“(T)his ballot measure will not have any practical effect unless the federal government lifts its ban on sports betting,” said poll director David Redlawsk, professor of political science at Rutgers University. “Nonetheless, New Jerseyans are ready to position New Jersey to take advantage of any change in federal law.”
Among Republicans, the polls show higher support, 64 percent. Democrats approve by 58 percent, and independents by 54 percent.
The poll surveyed 903 adults (821 registered voters/603 likely voters) on landlines and cell phones from Oct. 6 to 9. According to the pollsters, the sample of likely voters has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points, while the registered voter sample has a margin of error of +/-3.5 percentage points.
Voters living in shore counties – Monmouth, Ocean, and Atlantic – are the strongest supporters with nearly 75 percent of likely voters giving the nod to the amendment. Suburban voters are far behind at 57 percent, the data show.
“Supporters argue sports gambling would provide a much-needed economic boost to the gaming industry and bring in new revenue to the state,” said Redlawsk. “The potential for economic benefits seems to overcome any possible doubts in the part of the state that should gain the most.”