Ask Alabama poll shows majority still backs lottery, gaming for revenues

AUBURN – Despite the controversies swirling around the gambling issue in Alabama, a recent Ask Alabama poll conducted by Auburn University shows that most Alabama adults support a lottery and video gaming to increase state revenues to balance the budget and fund education. Results show that 68 percent support a lottery and 60 percent back video gaming for education funding.

The poll repeated questions asked by Auburn University pollsters in a 2005 Ask Alabama Poll and the results are virtually identical. The lottery garnered 68 percent support in the latest poll, two points above the 2005 poll result. Video gaming support stands at 60 percent, down from 61 percent in 2005.

The poll asked: “As you know, in this recession, the legislature has a challenge balancing the budget. Would you support or oppose each of the following measures to increase state revenues and balance the state budget?” Large majorities of those polled support the lottery (68 percent), higher taxes on alcoholic beverages (66 percent), increased taxes on tobacco products (61 percent), and taxes on video gaming (60 percent). Majorities oppose increased taxes on business-owned commercial property (60 percent oppose) and the state sales tax (84 percent oppose).

Majorities of voters supported both a lottery and video gaming in every region of the state, as well as urban, suburban and rural counties. Support was also similar across men and women, young and old, black and white, and affluent and poor.

The Ask Alabama survey results are based on telephone interviews conducted with a stratified random sample of 614 adult householders from Jan. 4-14 of 2010. The sample’s geographic, gender, race and age distributions were weighted to be proportionate to the U.S. Census Bureau’s data for Alabama’s adult householders, defined as persons 18 years of age and older. Patrick Rose, manager of the center’s survey research laboratory that conducted the interviews, said that poll results based on the full statewide sample have a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

The Ask Alabama Poll is conducted by the Center for Governmental Services, a unit of Auburn University Outreach that provides research, consulting and training to government agencies, not-for-profit associations, and private sector clients.

Contact: David Hill, (334) 844-4867 (dbh0007@auburn.edu), or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)