NJ (CBS) – A poll of New Jersey voters finds support for legalized betting on professional sports ahead of a referendum on the subject later this year.

A federal law banning such gambling in all but four states would have to be overturned before the majority of those surveyed by Fairleigh Dickinson University gets their way.

“Fifty-three percent say they favor making sports betting legal at Atlantic City casinos and racetracks.  Just 30% oppose it,” said Peter Woolley, the director of the college’s Public Mind Poll.

Wooley said the measure garners equal support from Republicans and Democrats.

But there is a gender divide: two-thirds of the men surveyed want to place sports bets compared with only around 40% of women.

But he said most of those asked knew little or nothing about the referendum — meaning, when sports betting is put to the test, it’ll largely be up to those who read the fine ballot print.

Such gambling could bring in tens of millions of dollars each year in tax revenues, but first voters in November would have to pass a referendum on allowing it, and New Jersey would have to get the federal ban overturned.

Reported by Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio 1060

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