AMERICANS approve of games of chance by 67 percent to 23 percent against, according to a nationwide survey. Another 10 percent gave no opinion.
The polling firm American Viewpoint conducted the survey of 1,200 adults for GTech Corp, a firm based in West Greenwich, R.I., that produces and operates computerized networks for government-sponsored or licensed lotteries.
The greatest support came for bingo, at 79 percent, and lotteries, at 75 percent. While 54 percent said they favored expansion of legalized gambling in their home states and 69 percent said they had no moral reservations about it, many noted the potential for people to squander money or become compulsive gamblers. They also cited the possibility that gambling would attract undesirable elements.
Gambling, once considered the domain of thugs and ne'er-do-wells, has won a more clean-cut image, with 74 percent saying it provides an acceptable form of entertainment. And 81 percent felt gaming creates new jobs and increases tourism, the survey said.
A majority, 57 percent, says legalized gambling helps states keep taxes lower.