|According to a recent survey by First International Resources, a New Jersey-based public opinion research firm, 55 percent of American citizens oppose government prohibition of gambling online. Well, there’s a surprise – I thought there were more American online punters out there than that.|
The national poll of 1,000 American adults comes as US lawmakers battle it out for an all out ban. Nevertheless it was full of sound thinking. Many people, punters or not, would readily point out the hypocrisy of collecting state revenue from lotteries only to ban online gambling. Over three quarters of those polled felt exactly the same way. The same amount also agreed that gambling a form of entertainment no different to a sport or trip to the cinema.
Ok, so there might be a slight difference between gambling online and watching Casablanca. It’s still a form of entertainment though. News that the vast majority of Americans love to gamble isn’t exactly mind blowing - they did invent Las Vegas. What was perhaps a little disconcerting was that only as little as 34 percent were in favour of the legalization and regulation of the online industry.
Perhaps this goes some way to explaining the difficulties American lawmakers face, whether they are for or against an all out ban. It’s surely contradictory for the majority of the US people to be against a ban and against regulation. No wonder the US politicians can’t pick the winning side, i.e. the one that will reward the most voters.
Sue Schneider of the IGC: 'This survey clearly indicates that the public supports a person's right to gamble on the Internet, and opposes further government efforts to dictate what people do in the privacy of their own homes on their personal computers.”