Michigan Poll: Gambling OK, But Is There Too Much?

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.