The ASU Global Sports Institute notes that the public perception of sports betting is comparable to that of marijuana.

ASU Global Sports Institute: Public Perception of Sports Betting Similar to Marijuana

The sports betting market in America, including Arizona’s industry, has great potential for growth among a wide audience.

According to a recent survey by Arizona State University’s Global Sports Institute and Phoenix’s OH Predictive Insights, the majority of Americans (40%) have a mixed attitude towards gambling.

According to Scott Brooks, the research director at the institute, after analyzing the survey and its implications, he told that the expansion of sports betting comes with multiple advantages as well as a few disadvantages.

Here is a more concise and easier-to-follow version of the conversation transcript.

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What motivated ASU to conduct the sports betting survey featured on

Scott Brooks, as the Director of the Global Sports Institute, stresses the significance of staying up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements in the sports industry. One notable issue that has gained national attention in recent years is sports betting, with numerous states contemplating its legalization. The Institute’s goal is to shed light on and examine crucial subjects in sports, such as sports betting, in order to initiate discussions and potentially alter viewpoints on the subject.

We want to hear your thoughts on the survey findings about sports betting in the US, including Arizona sports betting apps. What is your interpretation of the results?

Brooks thinks there are key points to keep in mind. Despite recent changes like the legalization of sports betting in some states, it seems that people’s views on the matter have stayed steady. If you were against sports betting before, chances are your opinion has not changed.

Some people believe that advertising alone does not have a strong influence on changing opinions, making it a simple issue for them. However, others are still undecided. Even if they do not change their opinions, some individuals do not see advertising as a crucial factor.

It seems that when something doesn’t affect them personally, people view it as a question of freedom and civil liberties. This is evident in the case of marijuana. As Americans, we tend to support people making their own choices as long as it doesn’t infringe on our own freedoms.

I am convinced that the advent of mobile sports betting has opened up new opportunities, with age playing a significant role in participation. Younger people are more inclined to partake in mobile betting due to its convenience and the elimination of the need to visit a physical betting site. As a result, the barriers to entry for betting are reduced.

Older individuals tend to prefer betting in person, leading to a gap in gambling preferences between generations. Furthermore, sports enthusiasts who follow multiple sports are more inclined to try out different betting choices.

Americans vary in their attitudes toward gambling, with most not participating but still valuing personal choice. It is crucial to observe the growth of sports betting in places like the UK, where the high rates of gambling addiction have necessitated the creation of specialized clinics for treatment.

The top choice for action was to impose restrictions on betting and establish limits on betting amounts, with treatment programs as a close second.

I am concerned about our increasing dependence on external information. This issue is not widely acknowledged or addressed, which could lead to potential risks. Our survey showed a lack of awareness regarding this issue.

When asked about the risks of sports betting, many people confessed they were not fully informed about them. The general consensus was an acknowledgment of the possibility of addiction, often placing blame on individuals who have difficulty with self-control. Additionally, there was a heightened concern for lower-income individuals facing potential issues. These were the key takeaways from our inquiries.

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Brooks identified the primary concern as the ambivalence of approximately 40% of participants. This group neither fully endorsed nor opposed the subject, with most individuals hovering in the middle.

This turn of events came as a surprise. Despite their initial skepticism, they were not sure if they would be swayed in any particular direction. The uncertainty surrounding this issue underscores the unpredictability of whether about 40% of respondents will ultimately choose to bet or refrain from making a decision. This gap in opinions provides an opening for additional study to ascertain if any shifts in behavior will occur. It stresses the necessity of closely monitoring the situation to detect any potential changes in the gap. Based on the results of this study, what do you foresee in the future for the American sports betting market?

Brooks argues that Las Vegas is a key destination for studying the future of American sports betting. He also highlights the presence of sportsbooks like Caesars Sportsbook in arenas in places like Washington D.C.

We can expect to see the trend continue to rise, which is why I highlighted the 40% gap. I think this pattern will continue in certain aspects. With more exposure and opportunities, especially in places like Vegas, I predict there will be an increase in betting, even if not necessarily in the number of people participating.

The leagues are counting on an increase in sports betting, particularly in places like Vegas. It’s probable that there won’t be a sudden influx of new bettors, but rather current ones betting more often. What do you hope readers will take away from your survey on sports betting in America?

Brooks stressed the importance of people remembering their American identity even when they may not have all the facts. He highlighted that a large number of people are familiar with sports betting and recognize the changes happening in this field.

Overall, there is a lack of awareness among Americans about sports betting, as they are not closely monitoring its legalization or potential negative outcomes. This is a concern that should be acknowledged.

I think there has been a notable shift in attitudes towards sports betting compared to the past. Back in the ’80s and ’90s, during the time of Pete Rose, there was a heavy focus on preventing corruption in sports by implementing strict regulations on sports betting.

The crucial question to ponder is the true nature of the shift that has occurred. Americans need to contemplate the tangible changes that have taken place, as it seems that people’s attitudes have remained stagnant. What other influences might be influencing this situation? Given the UK’s well-established sports betting culture, do you believe the U.S. will eventually adopt a similar approach?

Brooks is of the opinion that allowing MGM sportsbooks to operate within arenas will pave the way for a proliferation of similar establishments. Drawing parallels to the sports betting scene in Las Vegas, he argues that this trend mirrors what is observed internationally.

I think it’s unavoidable for our major leagues to continue establishing partnerships and seeing them as lucrative business ventures. We have reached a point where this trend cannot be reversed.

The issue in question is how we interpret this situation and what steps we anticipate organizations will take as we acquire additional information.

Are we factoring corporate responsibility into our discussions about the potential rise in gambling addiction? Are we effectively addressing this concern and putting in place preventative measures? Is there a need for more education and preparation in this field?

Steve Mariucci appears in a commercial emphasizing the significance of setting limits on betting, among other points that are not as impactful or memorable.

I hope we can be mindful and look to these other places as inspiration for potential actions we could implement.



Peterson Christopher

Peterson Christopher has been reporting on sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years. He is currently the main writer at, and has also worked for, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News.

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