Tuesday October 21,2014 : NEW JERSEY POLL SHOWS FLAGGING SUPPORT FOR SPORTS BETTING
Negative news at a critical time.
Hard on the heels of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's signing into law of the state's latest attempt to introduce intrastate sports betting ), comes negative news in the form of a poll carried out by Rutgers-Eagleton that indicates flagging support for the idea.
Although 44 percent of New Jersey respondents perceive sports betting as a plus for beleaguered Atlantic City, 48 percent is less positive about its value, with 31 percent opining it will make little difference and 17 percent viewing sports betting as of no benefit to the gambling enclave.
The poll additionally shows that online gambling is seen as bad for Atlantic City, with 55 percent of respondents coming to this conclusion, only 5 percent believing it is a good thing, 23 percent of the view that it makes no difference, and 17 percent unsure.
The poll also asked New Jersey residents for their thoughts on permitting land casinos outside the Atlantic City boundaries and found that almost 50 percent were in favour of the concept, whilst 43 percent were against it. The remainder of respondents were unsure, although a 3 percent minority voiced the opinion that gambling should not be allowed anywhere in the state.
The reaction indicates that support for casinos elsewhere in the Garden State has risen 12 points compared with the same question asked in a 1999 poll, when just 35 percent favoured a state-wide casino industry.
But despite the apparently growing support for a wider spread of land casinos in the state, many New Jersey residents have doubts about gambling in general, with the latest poll indicating that only 33 percent now see gambling as good for the state compared with the 72 percent who felt it was a good bet back in 1999.
David Redlawsk, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling and professor of political science at Rutgers commented on the latest results, observing:
“In the face of Atlantic City’s troubles, most New Jerseyans no longer think gambling is particularly good for the state. Nearly four decades after the first casino opened, residents are split on whether gambling should expand and clearly don’t believe some current plans will be of much help to Atlantic City itself.”
The poll canvassed the views of 842 residents contacted by live callers on both landlines and cell phones from September 29 to October 5, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percentage points.