Poll finds uptick in support for North Jersey casinos

PoliticoNewJersey- Convincing New Jerseyans to allow casinos in North Jersey is going to be a tough sell, but it may be getting a little less daunting.

Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released Tuesday found that 50 percent of New Jersey residents oppose allowing casinos outside of Atlantic City, while 42 percent support it.

But opposition has decreased by 6 percentage points since FDU last asked the question in June while support has increased by 5 percentage points.

The New Jersey Constitution limits casinos to Atlantic City but legislative leaders hope to put an amendment on the ballot in November that would allow two new casinos to be located at least 72 miles from the resort.

Supporters and opponents of the amendment are expected to spend tens of millions of dollars advertising for and against it.

“The public continues to be skeptical, and though opposition is down from levels measured last year, it remains at levels measured in previous years,” said Krista Jenkins, a professor of political science at FDU and director of PublicMind. “The increased acceptance of expanding gambling outside of Atlantic City may be the result of receiving more clarity surrounding recent legislative efforts to allow gambling expansion in New Jersey. As the details of the Legislature’s intentions become known, the public’s opinions will be affected. In addition, gambling interests will launch vigorous advertising campaigns in order to change people’s opinions.”

The poll found younger residents more in favor of casino expansion than older residents, and men more supportive than women.

The poll of 902 New Jersey residents was conducted from Jan. 4–10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

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