A recent survey taken of 1,000 “likely voters” in South Carolina found that 68% oppose the legalization of online gambling.
The Palmetto Politics poll commissioned by the Post and Courier further revealed that 17% support Internet gambling regulation while 15% remained undecided. The results are not at all surprising considering the conservative leanings typically found among South Carolina residents.
Gambling doesn’t sit well with a large percentage of the people in South Carolina for moral and religious reasons,” said Gibbs Knotts, a political science professor at the College of Charleston.
As with the large majority of surveys of this nature, results must be analyzed with an eye toward the phrasing in which the questions are asked. The South Carolina voters were queried in seemingly straightforward fashion with “Do you support or oppose legalizing online gambling?”
However, results of the survey may have been somewhat different had those polled also been told that online gambling revenue could benefit the state in other ways such as earmarking some of the proceeds toward education programs. Also, dedicating some of the igaming revenue toward maintenance or tax relief efforts may also sway some South Carolina residents among the apparent majority who voted in opposition.
The state’s Department of Transportation has estimated that more than $20 billion may be required in order to repair deteriorating highways and bridges, wbtw.com previously reported. South Carolina officials are looking at ways to raise the funds needed for the project and gambling expansion, both land-based and online, has been mentioned as a possible option.
There are a number of states that are viewed as unlikely candidates to be joining Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey in approving regulated online gambling. South Carolina does appear to be one such state unless voters eventually decide that the state’s revenue shortcomings could perhaps be offset by permitting online poker and gambling.