On the eve of Election Day, the tide might be turning with New Jersey voters on whether to allow betting on in-state colleges, along with in-state college tournaments and events.
New Jersey has numerous college teams and regularly hosts tournament events.
According to new survey results released by the Fairleigh Dickinson Poll on Friday, 39% of voters say that they support betting on such events, with 41% saying that it should continue to be banned.
In July, when the first FDU Poll data was released, only 25% of voters supported the measure and 49% opposed it.
“There hasn’t been much publicity around this ballot question, and a lot of people are going to miss it, or skip it,” Dan Cassino, a professor of Government and Politics at FDU and the Executive Director of the poll, said in a news release. “It’s much closer than it was before, and there are many voters who aren’t going to make a decision about it until they get into the ballot box.”
The survey was conducted between Oct. 23-28, using a certified list of registered voters in New Jersey. Respondents were randomly chosen from the list and contacted via either live telephone interviews or text-to-web surveys sent to cell phones, resulting in an overall sample of 823.
State residents will cast their votes on Tuesday’s referendum, voting yes or no on this question: Do you approve amending the Constitution to permit wagering through casinos and current or former horse racetracks on all college sport or athletic events that are held in the State?
Similar Poll Conducted by Stockton
In another survey conducted in September, a poll of 552 potential voters, conducted by Stockton University’s William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy, showed that 45% opposed a constitutional amendment that would allow N.J. sports betting on college games held in the state or games involving state college teams. Forty percent supported the measure, 14% percent were still undecided and 1% refused to even answer the question.
New Jersey has had legal sports betting since 2018 and residents can wager on college sports on teams not in New Jersey and events held outside the state.
One huge event coming to the Garden State that could affect bettors (if the measure is not passed) will occur in March 2025. The NCAA selected the home of Seton Hall University men’s basketball – Prudential Center (The Rock) – in downtown Newark to host the Men’s Basketball East Regional.
The event marks the return of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament to Prudential Center for the first time since 2011, when No. 4 Kentucky defeated No. 2 North Carolina in the East Regional Final.
The state has three NCAA Division I football programs: Monmouth, Princeton and Rutgers. Those three universities are also home to DI men’s and women’s basketball programs, plus five others: Seton Hall, Saint Peter’s, Rider, Fairleigh Dickinson and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).