be hedging their online casino bets
A new survey conducted regarding internet
gambling in the United States shows that perhaps public approval
is slipping in terms of online casinos and gambling in general.
Nevertheless, despite these figures, it is clear that gambling
and spending at online casinos is still on the rise. Gamblers
last year dropped a record $30 billion at the nation’s 455
commercial casinos in 11 states, and online casinos saw profits
in the billions as well, as the online casinos industry is a $12
billion dollar a year venture. Thousands of online casinos crowd
the marketplace and new online casinos are launched almost on a
A new survey released by the American Gaming Associated
suggested that Americans’ love for legalizing gambling at online
casinos and land based casinos may be cooling.
Only 50 percent of respondents, the lowest figure since 2000,
agreed with the statement that “casino gambling is perfectly
acceptable for anyone.” On the flip side, 18 percent, the
highest figure in six years, disagreed.
Online casinos are promoted by many but also looked down upon
because some believe that online casinos lead to addiction and
problem gambling among youth. There is currently legislation in
the US Congress aimed at crippling the online casinos industry.
Since 2000, the survey has found public acceptance of gambling
ranging between 51 percent and 57 percent, including 54 percent
last year. The number of those opposed held steady at 16 percent
until slipping to 15 percent last year then jumping to 18
percent this year.
The survey, by Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research, interviewed
800 U.S. adults in March.
For the first time, the association’s annual “State of the
State” report examined online casinos. More than half of online
internet gambling revenues come from American players.
The association recently called on Congress to study the rapidly
expanding industry before taking action on pending bills to
outlaw it — at a time when other nations, including the United
Kingdom, are legalizing and taxing it.
Survey findings by Peter D. Hart Research Associates estimated
that about 4 percent of Americans gambled at online casinos last
year, roughly double the estimates for 2004.
Commenting on online casinos, the association’s President said,
“There may be some erosion,” He added, “There’s been some
negative publicity out there the past year,” he said, citing the
Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.
The President of the association also noted that the Abramoff
affair centered mostly on tribal casino gambling and did not
taint his association’s membership of privately owned,
state-regulated commercial casinos. He also said that the survey
variances fell within the poll’s margin of error of plus or
minus 3 percent.
The president added, “There are a lot of unanswered questions
out there we think ought to be resolved,” he said, including
protections against underage gamblers, tribal sovereignty to
operate online casinos and U.S. free-trade obligations.
The survey also noted that online gamblers were overwhelmingly
young (median age 31) and more affluent than the average