Majority of Americans Do Not Oppose Regulating Online Poker

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The majority of Americans either support or are neutral on the issue of regulated online poker, according to a recent poll conducted by Online Poker Report.

Using Google Consumer Surveys, we asked 1500 Americans the question:

What is your opinion of regulating online poker?

Respondents were asked to give their opinion on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “strongly oppose” and 5 indicating “strongly support.”

The results, judged statistically significant by GCS, were definitive.

Over 60% chose an answer of 3 or above, meaning a strong majority of Americans have an opinion ranging from neutral to strong support of online poker regulation.

Less than one-third strongly oppose regulation

Under 30% of respondents chose “strongly oppose,” suggesting that those with a steadfast, active opposition to the regulation of online poker are in the minority of Americans.

The full distribution of responses:

Poll results

Download the complete data set for the survey here.

Poll stands in stark contrast to Adelson research

The results of this nationwide poll stand in stark contrast to Sheldon Adelson’s assertions that 70% of Americans disapprove of online gambling.

Adelson’s claims are based on polling he commissioned, conducted by The Tarrance Group.

The Tarrance Group claimed that the results of that polling showed “a universal opposition to any proposal that would legalize Internet gambling or Internet poker.”

The Tarrance Group polling surveyed residents of only four states.

Additionally, Tarrance declined to provide the complete set of questions posed to respondents, raising questions about the reliability of their conclusions.

For example, one of the few survey elements revealed by Tarrance arguably suffered from the Framing Effect:

Some people say/ Other people say… that internet gambling is no different than the other types of gambling that already exist, and that it is simply a natural extension of gambling options in this technological age.

Other people say/ Some people say… that internet gambling is very different from other types of gambling that already exist and that there are a number of key problems and potential abuses with online gambling that do not exist with traditional casino gambling

Changing a single word, or going from a negative to a positive hypothetical, would likely have a dramatic impact on the results.

And the framing of the second choice results in an assertion most online poker players would readily agree with, despite not having a negative feeling towards online gambling.

Additional insights into support for online poker regulation

As the image below reveals, American attitudes toward regulating online poker vary across a number of demographic characteristics.

Among the most interesting insights:

  • Attitudes toward online poker regulation improve as the age of respondents increases.
  • Support for online poker regulation is greater among men than women.
  • The Southern United States displays lower-than-average support when compared to other regions of the US.

Online poker survey insights

For additional insights, download the complete data set for the survey here.

- Chris is the publisher of Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.
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