Poll: Majority of Massachusetts Residents Still Support Casinos, Just Not in their Backyards

A new poll shows Massachusetts residents continue to support the creation of casino gambling in the state. This despite several losses for casino companies in local referendums in West Springfield, East Boston and Palmer.

Tim Vercellotti leads the polling institute at Western New England University. He says polls over the last four years show little movement.

“The results of these referenda don’t seem to be indicating some growing widespread awaking of opposition to casinos,” Vercellotti says. “The data really seem to suggest [that] in some of these communities where the proposals have failed, it’s been because people have decided the benefits do not outweigh the costs.”

Sixty-one percent of those polled this month support establishing casinos in Massachusetts. Vercellotti says that’s not great news for supporters of a proposed ballot question that would reverse the state’s expanded gambling law.

Also of note: the poll shows more people support casinos in general than support having casinos in their own communities. That “not in my backyard” gap – a bit under 20 percent – has remained relatively constant through polls in 2009, 20010 and now 2013.