Sport Wagering; Legalization; Sport Fans
Original Research Article
Over the years, professional and collegiate organizations have fought attempts to increase the legalization of sport wagering. One argument presented by those in opposition is that increased legalization would negatively alter the manner in which fans and spectators follow, consume, and react to sporting events (Tuohy, 2013). The current research was designed to examine possible changes in fandom by investigating fans’ perceptions of the impact of increasing legalized sport wagering on their fan experience, interest in sport, and sport consumption. Participants (N = 580) completed a questionnaire packet assessing demographics, economic fan motivation, fandom, and perceptions of the impact of increased access to legalized sport gambling. Data and analyses indicated that expected impacts were small and generally positive (e.g., a modest increase in interest in sport and consumption) and that these effects were greatest among groups historically active in sport gambling (e.g., persons higher in economic motivation and sport fandom).