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Voters View Casino Gaming More Favorably Than Ever Before

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Public support of casino gaming is at an all-time high, with 87% of voters stating that gambling is an acceptable activity.
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More than half (51%) stated that casinos should be taxed like any other kinds of businesses.

Voters view casino gaming more favorably than ever before, as majority believes casinos create jobs, strengthen communities and support local businesses. The American Gaming Association released the results of an annual survey that assesses the perception of the gaming industry and reveals the profile of casino patrons.

The research comes from a national telephone survey conducted May 17-22, 2014 by public opinion researchers: Mark Mellman, CEO of the Mellman Group, and Glen Bolger, founder and partner of Public Opinion Strategies

 Key findings include:

Voters embrace gaming.

  • Public support of casino gaming is at an all-time high (57%), with nine-in-ten (87%) voters across political lines stating that gambling is an acceptable activity.
  • Since 2009, the number that find gambling unacceptable for anyone has declined by a third (17% in 2009 to 11% in 2014).

An overwhelming majority believes casinos create jobs and strengthen local communities.

  • More than 70 percent (74%) voters affirm casinos promote job creation.
  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of casino visitors leave the property to spend money at neighboring local small businesses and other attractions.

Casino visitors are a portrait of America.

  • Nearly two-in-three (62%) casino visitors are homeowners and 70 percent are “middle class” or “upper-middle class.”
  • Almost half (46%) of casino visitors are college graduates – 16 percentage points higher than the national rate of Americans with bachelor degrees.
  • More than a third (35%) attend religious services every week, and one in four (26%) report they are evangelical or born again Christians.
  • Most are in their 20s, 30s or 40s – 56 percent are 21-49 years of age.
  • Casino visitors do not skew toward one political party over another. Respondents reported as democrats (39%), independents (32%) and republicans (29%) rather equally.
  • Plurality (23%) earns between $60-99k per year.
  • They’re not looking to strike it rich.
    • When casino visitors gamble, 76 percent set a budget. A majority (54%) set a budget of less than $200.
    • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents say they visit casinos for the same reasons they enjoy other entertainment, like shopping, going to a ball game, or attending a concert: to “have fun and socialize with friends and family.”

The bottom line: Casinos should not be treated differently than other businesses.

  • More than half (51%) stated that casinos should be taxed like any other kinds of businesses.
  • American voters embrace the casinos in their communities and some want even more. Almost half (48%) of voters surveyed say there are either not enough (15%) or about the right number (33%) of casinos in the U.S.
  • American voters believe casinos improve their communities and help local economies. Nearly six-in-ten (59%) voters surveyed say casinos help the economies where they are located.

To download the executive summary, click here.