by Tom Schram
While legislation that would allow video gaming at Michigan racetracks awaits action in the state legislature, residents have voiced their opposition to the proliferation of casino-type gambling in a recent poll.
The poll of 600 Michiganians was released Sept. 18. It was conducted by the Lansing firm Epic-MRA for WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids and shows that 34% of those surveyed believe there are about enough casinos in Michigan, 41% believe there are too many, and only 6% believe that more are needed. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
The poll did not detect an anti-gambling bias, however: 62% indicated they thought casino gambling was an acceptable form of gambling, while 32% disagreed with that.
The poll also found that by a 58%-35% margin, those polled said casinos can be an important part of a community's entertainment and tourism options. In addition, 39% believe casinos have a positive impact on the communities they are a part of, but 32% disagree.
State Rep. Judith Scranton is sponsoring a seven-bill package that would bring off-track wagering, telephone wagering, card rooms, and keno along with racetrack video gaming to Michigan. The bills are expected to come to the floor of the house in November.