Poll finds support for pro-gambling language in ballot amendment

Sep 30, 2013

A new poll finds language on a referendum on New York state's November ballot to portray the expansion of casino gambling in a positive light is working, and gaining support among potential voters.  

A Siena College poll finds that when New Yorkers are asked whether they support a state constitutional amendment to build up to seven new gambling casinos in the state, they are evenly split at 46 percent on each side of the issue. But when survey takers were read the actual language on the ballot amendment, which puts the new casinos in a positive light, 55 percent say they would vote yes, compared to 42 percent who say they would vote no. The amendment claims that the new casinos would bring jobs, generate money for education and result in lower taxes.

Siena’s Steve Greenberg says the wording seems to be working. “The folks who came up with that wording clearly tried to write a question to tip the balance in support of the amendment,” Greenberg said. “There is no question about that.”

Anti-gambling groups have called the ballot language “spin,” and say the casinos will also cause more gambling addiction. So far, no one, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo or the state legislature, has taken credit for the wording of the ballot question.