Newswise — Next month, the United States Supreme Court will determine the future of sports betting in New Jersey.

Dr. Joseph Mahan, from Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM), is available for interview on this subject. He is an associate professor and chair of STHM’s Sport and Recreation Management department.

New Jersey officials have pushed for legalized sports betting at the state’s racetracks and casinos for most of this decade, estimating an economic windfall in the billions for the state. The Supreme Court announced in June that it would hear the case. If passed, legalized sports gambling could be permitted in New Jersey by late 2018.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 barred sports betting in all but four U.S. states — Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon. Those states are grandfathered in, having previously been approved for sports betting of some capacity prior to the passing of this legislation.

New Jersey is lobbying to become the fifth.

Mahan and fellow STHM professor Dr. Joris Drayer surveyed a panel of fantasy sport participants in 2012 to learn the impact of sports betting on fan interest in sports. Forty-four percent of fans reported that sports betting increased their overall interest in sports, Mahan said. In particular, respondents said sports betting did not interfere with merchandise spending, ticket purchasing, or game viewership.

“If anything,” said Mahan, “it amplified their interest in the games.”

Mahan knows why: “We’re reaching this tipping point nationally, where we are moving away from our puritan roots and we are no longer viewing betting as taboo. (If it is legalized), states like New Jersey stand to benefit greatly from sports betting. You’ll see a modicum of revenue to help support seniors, education, and beyond.”

INTERVIEW REQUESTS: Email Christopher A. Vito at [email protected]