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Should Online Gambling Be Legalized? Americans Are Divided

Should Online Gambling Be Legalized? Americans Are Divided

Last week, our chief monkey, Dave Goldberg, appeared on Bloomberg West with Cory Johnson for March’s SurveyMonkey Shakedown segment to talk about what Americans think about online gambling. Currently, online gambling is only legal in three states–New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. Just last month, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey signed a bill legalizing Internet gambling. Does this mean more states may say yes to online gambling? Using SurveyMonkey Audience, we surveyed over 500 Americans to get their opinions on the matter.

Check out their entire segment and survey findings below.

The country is divided on online gambling.

  • 39% think it should be legal in their state while 44% believe it should be illegal in their state. 18% of respondents aren’t sure what they think (41% of those who are unsure don’t currently gamble).
  • Support for gambling rises with men and younger people–51% of males are in favor of its legalization and 43% of everyone surveyed, aged 29 and younger, are in favor of legalizing online gambling.

Younger generation thinks online gambling should be legalized ‘for fun’.

  • Of those who support legalizing online gambling, 41% do so in hopes that it’ll increase state revenue and economic growth. The next most popular reason? Protect their civil liberties and the right to make this lifestyle choice (22%), followed by reducing state taxes (13%).
  • Age makes a difference! The 29 and under group has another reason entirely, nearly a fifth of them (17%) want online gambling to be legalized for fun.
  • Of those who don’t support online gambling, 55% say it’s because online gambling increases the incidence of gambling addiction, while another 11% say it leads to other addictive behavior, and 8% say it leads to other criminal activity.
  • The 29 and under group opposed to legalizing online gambling also had a difference of opinion here–15% are opposed. Their reason? They say that gambling is immoral vs. only 5% of the general population citing this reason. 35% of this age group opposed to online gambling cite the fact that it leads to the gambling addictions.

The legalization of online gambling would have a low impact on current gambling behavior.

  • Folks in favor of legalizing online gambling–only 6% would be extremely more likely to participate in gambling, while 32% say they’d be neither more or less likely to, and 7% would be extremely unlikely to do more gambling. This suggests most of the gambling enthusiasts are already doing so.
  • Of those who aren’t sure whether or not online gambling should be legalized, a small percentage (1%) would be very likely to gamble, while 5% would be moderately more likely to gamble. A quarter of people say they’d be neither more or less likely to gamble. 11% would be very less likely and 14% would be extremely less likely to gamble.
  • Visits to gambling destinations such as Las Vegas or Atlantic City would not be significantly impacted–49% of those in favor of online gambling say it wouldn’t make them visit any more or less. 23% said they don’t go to casinos anyway and the remaining 25% are split between those more likely and those less likely to go to casinos if online gambling were legalized.
  • Respondents reporting they’re unsure whether or not to legalize online gambling, a mere 7% say they’d be somewhat more likely to gamble at casinos. 45% would be neither more or less likely, and more than one in ten at 11% say they’re extremely less likely to gamble at casinos.

Only 9% of people admit to playing online gambling games.

  • Out of all the online gambling games to choose from, poker is the favorite choice (47%) followed by slots (25%).
  • Those who are gambling are doing it pretty regularly–38% gamble online weekly.
  • More than three quarters of those who gamble online are also gambling in brick and mortar casinos (81%). On average they’re gambling in these casinos 1-6 times a year (65%).

To see the full set of survey results, head to our Slideshare page and click here.

What do you think? Should online gambling be legal in your state? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section below!

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6 thoughts on “Should Online Gambling Be Legalized? Americans Are Divided

  1. I wanted to thank you for this great read!!
    I certainly loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked
    to check out new stuff you post…

  2. TVG says:

    I would love to see sports betting allowed online in the U.S.

  3. There is no way any law will be able to completely stop gambling. Even in countries where there is real punishment for setting up gambling – undercover gambling joints spring up under variety of disguises. With Internet’s global spread these days – same is true for online gambling. No matter how hard authorities will try to block it, gambler will find a way to continue. So the only real long term solution is learn how to regulate it properly, tax it and introduce measure helping to deal with problem gambling.

  4. Malcom Marshall says:

    I think as long as you are able to set your boundaries and you don’t become an addict it’s fine to do online gambling. People assume that most gamblers are addicts, but just because someone participates in online gambling, it doesn’t mean he/she is destined to become an addict. And as for online gambing, there are several reasons why it’s way more convenient than (offline) casino gambling. There is an article about the advantages on

  5. Edward says:

    There are several rules and regulations related to online gambling in each state. I think online gambling should be legalized because people are free to use their money or income whichever way they choose.

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