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Polls

Majority of Americans Support Legalization of Sports Betting

Betting sheet and money
In partnership with the Washington Post, the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion surveyed 1,000 American adults on their attitudes about sports. This, the fifth release in a series, focuses on attitudes about gambling on professional sports.
KEY FINDINGS
  • Although illegal in most states, one in five fans has placed a bet on pro sports in the last five years. 
  • 73 percent of those who have bet on pro sports said it made watching the games more interesting. 
  • A majority of Americans polled, 55 percent, support legalization of gambling on professional sports, compared with only 33 percent who object. 
  • The strongest support for legalizing sports betting is among Americans between 40 and 49 years old, followed closely by those 18 to 29 years old.
In partnership with the Washington Post, the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion surveyed 1,000 American adults on their attitudes about sports. This, the fourth release in a series, focuses on college athletics, their popularity and whether athletes should be paid.

Majority of Americans Do Not Think College Athletes Should Be Paid

Hand holding basketball with arena in background.

KEY FINDINGS

  • College football and basketball have fan bases that rank in the top five of all American sports, ahead of professional auto racing, soccer, boxing and mixed martial arts.
  • Only pro football eclipses college football's fan base, which is equal to that of Major League Baseball.
  • A majority of Americans view scholarships as adequate compensation and do not believe that college football and basketball athletes should be paid additional money based on any revenue generated for their schools by those sports.

Majority of Americans Says Tackle Football is Unsafe for Young Kids

Model brain next to football and helmet
In partnership with the Washington Post, the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion surveyed 1,000 American adults on their attitudes about sports. This, the third release in a series, focuses on general attitudes about youth playing football.
KEY FINDINGS
  • Fifty-three percent of adults surveyed feel that tackle football is not a safe activity for kids before they are in high school; 41 percent it is safe before high school.
  • Despite their opposition to tackle football before high school, a 57 percent majority of Americans believe that high school football is a safe activity.
  • Among those polled who said that it is true that playing football causes brain injuries, 44 percent said it is okay for children 13 or younger to play football. Among those who did not agree that playing football causes brain injuries, 54 percent said it is okay for children age 13 and younger to play football.

Despite issues, football is still America's favorite sport

Football player making a catch
In partnership with the Washington Post, the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion surveyed 1,000 American adults on their attitudes about sports. This, the second release in a series, focuses on general attitudes about sports and sports viewership, with a particular emphasis on professional football and the National Football League (NFL).
KEY FINDINGS
  • 77 percent of those who consider themselves professional football fans said that head injuries causing long-term health issues for players are a major problem. 
  • Sports fans see other issues with football, including domestic violence (61 percent) and violence in general (60 percent) committed by players as major problems. 
  • Despite the issues, 60 percent of Americans say they are fans of professional football, with 31 percent identifying themselves as “big fans.”

Survey: MMA, boxing reaching new generation of sports fans

Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, nose to nose
In partnership with the Washington Post, the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion surveyed 1,000 American adults on their attitudes about sports. This, the first release in a series, covers the extent to which sports fan consider themselves fans of professional boxing and mixed martial arts.
KEY FINDINGS
  • More than three-quarters of Americans call themselves sports fans, 20 percent of whom identify as avid sports fans, according to the national survey. 
  • More than a third of all adults, 38 percent, said they like boxing, MMA or both. 
  • The highest percentage of fans of both sports, 39 percent for boxing and 37 percent for MMA, are in the youngest group polled, 18- to 29-year-olds. 
  • The smallest percentage of fans, 13 percent for MMA and 17 percent for boxing, was among the oldest group polled, age 65 and up.