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Chris Sieroty

Poll: N.J. split on appeal of sports betting ban

24 October 2013

New Jersey’s ongoing legal battle to bring sports betting to Atlantic City and horse racing tracks has mixed support, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

The Fairleigh Dickenson University’s PublicMind poll found 37 percent of registered voters think the appeal by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration of a recent ruling in the case to the U.S. Supreme Court is warranted, while 34 percent want the state to drop the case until federal law is changed.

Voters in New Jersey approved sports betting in a 2011 referendum. Last month, a federal appeals court in Philadelphia decided the state law allowing it violated federal law.

Christie and lawmakers have pushed for legalized sport betting to revive the struggling casino business. Sports betting in Nevada has continued to grow over the last five years, from $2.5 billion in 2008 to $3.4 billion last year.

The last time a similar poll was released in July 2012, 45 percent endorsed the state’s effort, with 38 percent opposed. The drop in support for legalization seems to be the result of the higher bar the state must overcome given the federal court’s decision.