Online Gambling Myths & Facts


A scientific poll of over 30,000 likely voters conducted in March 2006 establishes that Americans overwhelmingly do not want the federal government enacting laws that restrict a recreational activity such as online gambling, an activity that many adult Americans have decided to do from their own homes. Almost 80 percent of Americans are opposed to the pending bills in Congress to ban online gambling.

The poll was conducted by Zogby International, a leading public opinion company. Zogby International conducted interviews of 30,054 likely voters from March 1, 2006 through March 14, 2006. The margin of error on the poll is +/- 0.6 percentage points. The following is a summary of the poll:

 

Q:     The United States Congress is currently considering legislation that would attempt to abolish online gambling. With the exception of something that is morally offensive to almost everyone, such as child pornography, do you think it is appropriate for the federal government to restrict what adults do on the Internet in the privacy of their own homes?

Yes

13%

No

78%

Not sure

9%

Excluding the things that are morally offensive to most people, more than three-fourths of likely voters (78%) do not think it is appropriate for the federal government to restrict what adults do on the Internet in the privacy of their own homes. In contrast, one in eight (13%) believes it is appropriate for the federal government to restrict what adults do on the Internet in the privacy of their own homes. Nine percent are not sure.

Q:     More than 80 percent of Americans believe that gambling is a question of personal choice that should not be interfered with by the government. Do you agree or disagree that the federal government should stop adult Americans from gambling with licensed and regulated online sportsbooks and casinos based in other countries?

Agree

16%

Disagree

71%

Not sure

13%

Seven in ten respondents (71%) disagree that the federal government should stop adult Americans from gambling with licensed and regulated online sportsbooks and casinos based in other countries. In comparison, one in six (16%) believes the United States government should prohibit this form of gambling. One in eight (13%) is not sure.

Q:     Many gambling experts believe that Internet gambling will continue no matter what the government does to try to stop it. Do you agree or disagree that the federal government should allocate government resources and spend taxpayer money trying to stop adult Americans from gambling online?

Agree

11%

Disagree

77%

Not sure

12%

Voters are seven times more likely to disagree (77%) than agree (11%) that the federal government should allocate government resources and spend taxpayer money trying to stop adult Americans from gambling online. One in eight (12%) is not sure.

In summary, a vast majority of Americans are opposed to banning online gambling. A scientific poll completed on March 14, 2006 establishes that almost 80 percent of likely voters are opposed to governmental efforts to ban online gambling. Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of preserving their freedom to engage in acceptable recreational and entertainment activities from the privacy of their own home. The will of American voters is absolutely and unmistakably clear in the area of how and when an adult American should be able to engage in private recreational activities from their own home, and Congress should respect this freedom of choice.

Sources:     Zogby International – www.zogby.com

American Gaming Association, State of the States 2005 (pp. 23, 28-29, citing The Luntz Research Companies)

Q:     What are your personal views of casino gambling?

Perfectly Acceptable for Anyone

54%

Acceptable for others but not for you personally

27%

Not acceptable for anyone

15%

Don’t Know/Refused

4%

Q:    Do you agree or disagree with the following: “Gambling is a question of personal choice. The government should not be telling Americans what they should or should not be doing with their own time and money.”

Agree

87%

Disagree

12%

Don’t Know/Refused

2%

Q:     Do you agree or disagree with the following: “Reasonable risk-taking plays an important role in American life. Adults should be allowed to take on reasonable risks — whether it’s playing the stock market, white-water rafting or playing blackjack in a casino— without interference from others.”

Agree

83%

Disagree

13%

Don’t Know/Refused

5%

Forms of Gambling Participated in by Adult Americans During 2005

Playing the Lottery

53%

Casino Gambling

35%

Playing Poker

18%

Wagering on a Race

6%

 

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