Poll Shows that 77% of All US Residents in Favor of Legal Online Gambling


A recent poll conducted by the Wall Street Journal shows that over three fourths of all Americans favor legal online gambling. The gambling laws have been very unpopular in the United States. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 was passed using deception and a poll taken of congressmen after the passage of the bill clearly showed that most would have voted against UIGEA as a standalone piece of legislation. The draconian piece of legislation was slipped into a must pass port security bill and most lawmakers were unaware of its existence when they voted for the bill.

Even the Wall Street Journal poll did not specify the different types of gambling such as online bingo, poker, sports betting and online casinos 77.1% of all respondents were in favor of legal online gambling and a tiny minority of 22% was against legalized online gaming. The first question in the Wall Street Journal survey asked “Lawmakers in some states are pushing for bills that aim to steer around federal laws prohibiting Internet wagering. Since gambling itself is not illegal, should the next step be to legalise gambling websites?”

The poll resulted in a number of comments on the Journal’s website. Some expressed concern about the competition with land based casinos. One poster Rick Geiger added his opinion and stated “Gambling exists, web gambling exists, even in the US where the perception is that it is illegal, to the tune of over $6 billion now. The internet is an international platform and the idea that online gambling will exist all over the world but not in the US is childish and foolish. Online gambling should be openly legalized and regulated and taxed just like any other business. All we achieve by continuing the prohibition is to send money and jobs outside of the US. We have done studies showing the value within five years is over $21billion. People play games online by the millions and there is a confluence of online gaming and online gambling and online ecommerce. Burying ours heads in the sand will not stop technology or human nature.”

Clearly Geiger expressed the opinion of the majority. The recent seizure of four major poker sites and indictments against 11 gaming company executives has resulted in the insolvency of two poker sites. Fortunately the internet bingo industry remains relatively unscathed. Online gambling proponents say that the US is missing out on billions of new much needed tax dollars. Most experts say it is only a matter of time before the US joins the 21st century and takes action to tax and regulate online gaming. Several states have already announced plans to offer online gaming to residents and experts say that online gaming could become legal this year.