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Nearly 1-in-5 Adults Bet on Sports, Survey says

Nearly 1-in-5 Adults Bet on Sports, Survey says article feature image
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Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Westgate Las Vegas Race & Sports SuperBook.

Nearly one-in-five U.S. adults said they bet on sports over the past year, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The Pew Research Center’s survey of 6,034 adults found 19% admitted to betting on sports in one way or another — whether it was between friends and family, an online betting app, at a casino or through other means like fantasy sports or a private betting pool.

The survey comes more than four years after the Supreme Court cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting, which has lead to new laws in 36 states and Washington D.C. 

Despite the seismic boom of commercial sports betting that’s ensued in the aftermath, betting between family and friends is the most popular form of wagering, according to the survey.

Most Popular Betting Mediums Among Americans

Casual Betting 15%
In person 8%
Online or through an app 6%
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Outliers Across Demographics

Men are more likely to bet on sports than women according to the survey, which found that 24% of all male respondents admitted to betting on sports, versus 15% of women.

Adults 50 years or younger were less likely to bet (17%). Black (27%) and Hispanic (24%) adults were more likely to report they bet than White (18%) and Asian Americans (10%).

The survey found “no significant differences” in betting across educational or household income levels.

The public was more divided on its perception of betting.

Around 34% of those surveyed said legal sports betting was a bad thing for society while 57% responded it was neither good nor bad.

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