by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
A recent survey conducted by Andrew Curtis, the infamous Vegas aficionado, showed that there are an enormous percentage of people who support online casino gambling in the United States. The poll, posted on Las Vegas Advisor.com appealed to 5,000 voters.
Not only did the survey show that there is a strong approval rating for internet gambling, 68 percent over 32 percent, but also the reasons for which people voted in favor of online casinos. 27 percent of those who expressed their support for internet gambling said that they themselves didn’t play, but felt that it was an American’s right to do so.
The poll which ran from July 30th to August 12th inquired of participants, “Should online gambling be legalized? Have recent scandals soured you on ‘gambling in space’?” The responses which followed were not mere “yes” or “no” answers, but a series of choices:
“Yes, although I don’t like to play online myself, I think everyone should have the right to.” (1275 votes – 27 percent)
“Yes, and I would play online for money if it was clearly legal.” (1104 votes – 23 percent)
“Yes, I never stopped playing online but would be happier if it was definitely legal and regulated.” (848 votes – 18 percent)
“No, there have been too many scandals and I don’t trust that it can be regulated.” (839 votes – 17 percent)
“No, I think online casinos result in underage gambling and addiction.” (733 votes – 15 percent)
The some 5,000 votes that this particular poll attracted made the survey one of the most participated in in the Las Vegas Advisor, although its management says that the yes/no percentages were more narrow than they’ve seen in other surveys.
“With all three Yes categories totaled, 68 percent were in favor of legalization, while 32 percent were opposed via two No categories,” reports Curtis, “That’s a convincing majority, but less than the 75 percent – 92 percent (in favor) that we’ve seen from other sources.” Curtis is thought to have alluded here to a major Wall Street Journal poll conducted earlier in the year.
Curtis went on to say that the several responses in the poll may have resulted in the differing outcome between the two sources. “For starters, considering the 17 percent who voted no due to ‘recent scandals,’ it could be argued that as a high 85 percent would be in favor if online gambling was properly regulated, “ he said. “But it also illustrates that online problems (hole-card spying in poker likely being the most prominent) are not going unnoticed.”
Curtis is referring to the latest UltimateBet and Absolute Poker scandals, in which the sister sites were found to have its employees abusing their ability to view players’ hands.
The website thought that it was interesting to note that the 15 percent of people who were against internet gambling due to the underage and problem gambling issues existed on a website devoted to gambling in Las Vegas.
Curtis finished his report saying, “It’s a result that causes us to reflect on earlier plans to act as a go-between for players and reputable sites. We don’t foresee reliable regulation in the near future, but responsible third-party oversight seems to be the next best thing – but only if that third party had enough clout with the online sites to exert influence.