A US professional sportsmen poll conducted by ESPN News has revealed that 63% of athletes believe that sports betting should be legalised.
ESPN conducted a set of betting related questions to a pool of 73 NBA, MLB, NFL and NHL players. 63% of the athletes questioned believed that sports betting should be legalised in the US, taking on-board an opposite stance to the National Pro Leagues and NCAA bodies, who have moved to ban sports betting in the state of New Jersey.
The ESPN News poll revealed the following findings with regards to the 73 athletes questioned on sports betting:-
- 58% said that they had gambled previously
- 34% admitted that they had wagered on sports (sports type undisclosed)
- 37% suspected of a teammate (current and former) to have had a gambling problem
- 41% believe that sports betting would present a challenge to US sports integrity.
- 42% stated that they were aware of points spread
- 10% said that they had been approached to for information regarding their teams
- 3% had suspicions that they had played in a ‘fixed’ game.
Sports betting continues to be a delicate subject matter in the US. This week Michelle Roberts the Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) told ESPN Radio that the body had begun to engage players in discussions regarding the possibility of allowing sports betting on matches.
Roberts further stated that the NBPA would research the potential effects of sports betting in the US, regardless of whether the matter became legal or not.