Flash Polls, Social Issues

Gamble on the Pack? Don’t Bet on It

Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Jason Chaffetz recently introduced legislation to ban most forms of online gambling in their respective chambers.  From March 31st– April 1st, PackPoll conducted a survey on a representative sample of NC State students about their views on online poker and online sports betting. PackPoll found that student’s views are mixed, and many students are unsure or expressed no opinion. For online poker, 24% of students support allowing states to legalize and regulate it, while 16% of students expressed opposition. When asked if states should be allowed to legalize and regulate betting on sporting events over the Internet, 28% of students support while 19% opposed (full results can be downloaded via the link at the end of the story).

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State Students Not Really Gamblers

Aside from playing the lottery, NCSU students rarely engage in most other forms of gambling. Students were given a list of eight gambling activities and asked to check all that they had did in the past twelve months. 76% of students reported that they had bought a lottery ticket, 30% reported they had participated in an office gambling pool, 17% reported they had gambled money on fantasy sports, and 14% gambled money on a casino game. Students reported very limited gambling activity online, however. Only 2% of respondents indicated they had bet money on a sporting event online, and 2% of respondents indicated they had played poker for money on the Internet.

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Cues Matter

PackPoll also conducted an experiment within the survey to see if question wording had an effect on student’s responses. Students were randomly assigned a survey asking them their views on either online poker or online sports betting. In addition, on half of the ballots, the sentence, “A number of other countries including Canada, Great Britain, and Italy have legalized online gambling” preceded the same questions on either online poker or online sports betting. For online poker, the added sentence changed the numbers of students who support the measure to 31%. This was up from 24% of students supporting the measure without the cue. The largest effect of the added sentence was the drop in “No Opinion” answers.  “No opinions” dropped to 32% with the added sentence from 46% without.

For sports betting, a similar trend emerged. The extra sentence increased support to 40% from 28% without. Again, we

noticed that “No Opinion” answers dropped from 35% without the question to 25% before.

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The Pack Poll conducts representative surveys of students and faculty on NCSU campus. This poll surveyed 1132 undergraduates via random sampling of student email. The survey was conducted over the internet between March 31-April1, 2014, with a response rate of 32% and margin of sampling error of +/-2.85%. 

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