A new poll out of LSU showed that residents of Louisiana are in favor of legalizing sports betting within the state.
Sports betting was among the things addressed in the survey, along with other social issues like gun control and recreational marijuana. The focus, for us, is the fact that a majority of those polled were in favor of legalizing sports betting in Louisiana.
Louisiana does have a sports betting bill in the works, sponsored by state senator Danny Martiny. He’s hoping to convince the rest of the state legislature that Louisiana needs to legalize sports betting to keep up with neighboring Mississippi.
Unlike what one might think about traditionally conservative states, the survey by LSU says that 59% of Louisianans support being able to bet on professional sports. The poll was conducted by the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication and polled 917 adults.
Sports betting was the one thing that saw no split between political views, per the report published by LSU. The biggest differences was across region and age differences.
Splitting up age differences, only 38% of adults 65 or older supported sports betting. They were the only group that did not hit at least 50% in favor. The age groups 50-64 were in favor 53%, 30-49 saw 73%, and 18-29 led the pack at 74%. 6% of those asked had no opinion.
Location mattered too. The more urban areas, such as New Orleans, saw a 68% approval rate of sports betting. Southern Louisiana saw 58% approval of sports betting, while north Louisiana only saw a 52% in favor.
Regardless of how the current sports betting bill does, there will be chances for it in the future as more of the younger generation moves into government positions. It’s good long-term news for Louisiana, even if there ends up being no instant gratification this time around.
The one drawback of the survey was the fact the question specifically said “Do you support or oppose making betting on professional sporting events legal in Louisiana?” The survey did not ask about college athletics within the state, due to possible bias of being conducted by LSU.
Interestingly, college athletics would not be banned under the new laws proposed in Senate Bill 153. Specifically prohibited are high school games and esports. Unlike New Jersey, there is no restriction of betting on in-state college teams, which would allow fans of LSU to bet on their beloved Tigers.
It’s curious that the 2019 Louisiana Survey chose to only ask about professional sports. Again, there’s the possibility that there might simply be some bias-avoidance, but it’s also entirely possible that the answers would and increased in support. After all, people love betting on their favorite teams.
Regardless of the questions, Louisiana citizens are showing solid support in favor of sports betting, and they’re showing support at a vital time. It’s now the hope that Louisiana lawmakers are paying attention to the results and vote with how the majority of Louisiana feels.