December 07, 2016

Poll: Most New Jersey residents say gambling bad for state, oppose casino expansion

A majority of New Jersey voters have an unfavorable view of gambling and would resist the building of additional casinos, according to a recent poll.

Findings from a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday showed that most Garden State residents oppose an expansion of casino gambling.

In 1976, voters approved a referendum allowing casino gambling in Atlantic City. Forty years later, the Quinnipiac poll revealed that most voters regret that decision. When asked whether gambling has been good for New Jersey, 62 percent of respondents said no. Only 29 percent thought it benefited the state.

By a similar margin, 60 percent to 35, voters indicated that gambling has not been good for Atlantic City where five casinos have closed over a two-year span. In November, the state took control of the city's government due its poor financial outlook.

When broken down by demographics, the poll showed that no majority of voters in any political party, racial group, age bracket believed gambling was good for the state. Only voters between the ages of 18 and 34 said gambling was good for Atlantic City, 55 percent to 39.

On November's ballot, voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot question on the construction of two additional casinos in North Jersey.

That is unlikely to change on a future referendum. Nearly four-fifths of voters oppose expansion into other areas of the state, 79 percent to 19.

The poll surveyed 1,318 New Jersey voters between Nov. 28 and Dec. 4 using live interviewers on landlines and cell phones. The margin of error for the poll was +/- 2.7 percent.