Legal Gambling Could Spur Bettors to Watch More TV

Legalized betting on sports could lead potential gamblers to watch more sports live on TV, according to a study by National Research Group.

NRG found that 79% of current and potential gamblers said they would watch more sports live.

While most likely to watch their favorite sports, 63% said they would watch a greater variety of sports and 60% said they would watch sports they didn’t follow before.

The sports potential gamblers said they were most likely to bet on where the National Football League and the National Basketball Association.

Among both current and potential gamblers, Fox Sports and ESPN are seen as the networks that best fit with sports gambling programming, NRG said.

The survey found that 42% of those who watch sports programming currently wager on games, getting $82 per wager on average.

Nearly half of those viewers expect to gamble more often if gambling were to be legalized nationwide.

For viewers not currently gambling on sports, 27% said they would like to bet on sports if it were to become legalized nationwide.

Last month the Supreme Court ruled that a law preventing wagering on professional and college sports was unconstitutional, opening the door to states legalizing gambling.

Related: Pallone: Supremes Sports Betting Call Should Spur Game Act Passage

NRG’s poll of 1,010 Americas found that about 60% of American approve of sports gambling.

More Americans—66%--found betting on professional sports palatable than on college or amateur sports—50%.

Men were more likely to approve of sports gambling than women by 69% to 51%.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.