PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - More than half of Rhode Islanders say they would favor casino gambling in the Ocean State, according to an exclusive Eyewitness News poll released Tuesday evening.
The new survey of 511 registered voters finds 55% are in favor of casino gambling, while 39% oppose it, with 5% unsure.
"I think the voters in Rhode Island are looking at the fact that Massachusetts -- in the next three or four years -- are probably going to start having casinos and that is going to start taking away people from Rhode Island," WPRI 12 political analyst Joe Fleming said.
The exclusive poll also shows that men like the casino gambling idea more than women; 59% of men favor casino gambling, compared to 52% percent of women, while 34% of men oppose casinos, compared to 43% of women who oppose it.
The telephone interview poll was conducted last Monday through Thursday by Fleming & Associates of Cumberland, R.I. The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus approximately 4.8 percentage points.
In November, voters will decide if Twin River can turn into a full-blown casino, and they may be asked the same about Newport Grand.
"It still could become a competitive question, but at this time there is no group out there with large amounts of money that could mount a campaign against the casino question statewide," WPRI 12 political analyst Joe Fleming said.
Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas of the Narragansett Indian Tribe thinks voters will get cold feet again.
"I found that in my travels amending the constitution was just a no no," Chief Sachem said. He continued, "I even think if our casino was on the ballot they would vote favorably for it. But if they have to amend the constitution, that's a whole other ball game."
According to our exclusive poll numbers, there is a slight political divide when it came to the casino question, 61% of Democrats favor casinos, compared to 52% of Republicans.
Copyright WPRI 12
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