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New Jersey Split on Plan to Legalize Sports Gambling, Poll Shows

Nov. 30 (Bloomberg) -- New Jersey residents are split on their support for the legalization of sports gambling in the state, according to a Seton Hall Sports Poll.

The poll found 47 percent of those surveyed were opposed to legalized sports gambling, 44 percent were in favor and 10 percent were undecided. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.8 percent.

In mid-October, the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement adopted regulations that would allow casinos and racetracks to apply for licenses to provide sports wagering starting Jan. 9, 2013, with the applications costing $50,000.

“Despite the potential for the state raising needed revenues through legalized gambling, especially after Superstorm Sandy, opinions on this issue remain split,” Rick Gentile, director of the poll, said yesterday. “This is possibly due to the strong resistance by the sports leagues.”

The Seton Hall Sports Poll questioned 696 New Jersey residents last week.

The poll also asked respondents for their reaction to Rutgers University moving to the Big Ten conference from the Big East. Forty-five percent thought the decision was good for the New Brunswick school, while 48 percent believed it was a boost for the state.

New Jersey residents also said they were more likely to support the New York Giants than the Philadelphia Eagles or New York Jets. Thirty-nine percent identify with the Giants, 12 percent with the Eagles and 10 percent with the Jets.

More than half also said the National Football League’s Giants and Jets should carry New Jersey before the team names instead of New York.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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