US Gamblers fly the Flag
By staff
A survey conducted on behalf of the American Gaming Association (AGA) finds that most Americans think that legalized casino gambling is a good budget booster for cities and states.

The survey, 'State of the State: The AGA Survey of Casino Entertainment' examines the US publicís perceptions of the gaming industry, and the overall impression is favourable to the casino industry, with gamblers being perceived as mainstream, even patriotic Americans.

The results showed casino patrons to be more patriotic than the average citizen: One survey question asked 'Do you currently fly an American flag outside your home or on your car?' (67%of the U.S. population said they did while 71%or casino customers said yes) and another asked 'Have you ever missed a deadline for filing your income tax return?' (88% of the U.S. population and 89% of casino customers said they hadn't.)

'The results contradict a stereotype perpetuated by gambling opponents that people who gamble are not representative of the population as a whole,' said AGA President Frank Fahrenkopf in a message accompanying the release of the poll results.

Casino patrons were more likely than Americans as a whole to donate $100 to charity, own a home and vote in a recent election, but they were less likely than most Americans to attend at least one Major League Baseball game in the last year.

'They're trying to overcome the prejudice that gamers are low-lifers drawn from the other side of the tracks,' said William Eadington, director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, Reno.

While most of the survey results focus on perceptions on gaming acceptability, individual rights, responsible gaming and the benefits of casinos were consistent with results from previous years, the study showed a lack of knowledge on where the tax revenues from legalized gambling goes to.

Eadington said that the study was good PR at a time when state and city legislators are looking for revenue sources to plug holes in budgets without raising taxes

'Sin taxes are where legislators are going to turn,' Eadington said, 'especially in places where there are still excess profits, like in Illinois.'

The study focused on casino gambling and not any other form of wagering and did not include revenue results from Indian casinos or Internet casinos.

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