Uh-oh. Seem like New Jerseyans can’t agree on the idea of legalizing sports betting both at the casinos and racetracks as well as outside Atlantic City.
According to the poll Fairleigh Dickinson University had conducted, fifty percent of New Jerseyan adults think that the state should be allowed to have sports betting. 41 percent, on the other hand, disagree and believe that the ban should remain.
But this has not always been the case. In fact, back in 2013, a glaring majority of the population agree to having sports betting. The opponents have since shot up from 28 percent to 41 percent.
Each disagreeing party has their reasons though. Krista Jenkins, a political science professor at FDU and the director of the poll, said that the fifty percent on the affirmative believe that New Jersey could benefit from the added revenue brought by sports betting if legalized. The 41 percent think that it could drive gambling addiction and corrupt professional sports.
Some have also proposed the allowing of casinos in other areas of the state, especially in the northern part. But even this proposal received a divided response. Apparently, only 36 favor it while 57 percent oppose the idea.
This is particularly significant as voters’ approval is vital to a constitutional amendment.
Donald Hoover, senior lecturer at FDU’s International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, suggested that the drop on the affirmative side may have something to do with Atlantic City’s dire financial straits, having seen four of its casinos close in 2014.
“The negative news about Atlantic City may play a role in swaying public opinion in New Jersey and elsewhere about the effects of expanded gaming on existing offerings” he said.
It’s unclear at the moment whether New Jerseyans will come to an agreement about this issue. For now, all we can do is wait.