Wait, is there actually something New Jersey voters may not support in regards to sports betting?
According to a recent Farleigh Dickinson University poll, only 25% of responding voters approve of a potential constitutional amendment which would legalize in-state collegiate sports betting in New Jersey.
“Many voters still aren’t sure where they stand on the matter,” Dan Cassino, a professor of government and politics at Fairleigh Dickinson University and the Executive Director of the poll, said in a release. “But supporters are going to need to change a lot of minds if they want to get this passed.”
Who Approves of the New Jersey Sports Betting Change?
New Jersey has offered sports betting since 2018, but bets on in-state collegiate programs have always been prohibited. Recently, state legislators approved a referendum question for the 2021 November general election ballot to amend the constitution to “permit sports wagering through casinos and current or former horse racetracks on certain sanctioned collegiate tournament, playoff, championship, or other postseason athletic competitions in New Jersey.”
If approved by voters, the constitutional amendment would allow the state legislature to pass laws permitting wagering on any college sport or athletic event. It would permit wagering even if a New Jersey college team participates in the competition.
The referendum question was widely expected to be approved in the November election. However, according to FDU poll results 25% of polled registered voters said that betting on college sports should be allowed, with 49%) saying that it should continue to be banned. The remaining 26% were unsure or didn’t want to answer the question.
Only 22% of respondents with a college degree supported the measure.
Republicans, Men and Younger Voters Want Change
The survey, conducted between June 9 and June 16, 2021, used a certified list of registered voters in New Jersey. Voters were chosen randomly and 803 participated.
According to the results, those most likely to approve of the referendum question were Republicans (32%), men (36%) and younger voters as 36% of voters under the age of 35 supported the question. Only 11% of senior votes approved of the change.
“This change might have had a better chance in a higher turnout year,” said Cassino in a release. “But among the voters who tend to turn out the most, there’s just no appetite for expanding gaming yet again.”
The referendum comes several years before Newark, N.J., is slated to host the regional rounds of the NCAA Men’s D-1 Basketball tournament at the Prudential Center in 2025.