Gambling Legislation

Most North Carolina residents support casinos, according to poll

The idea of non-tribal casinos in the state is catching on with residents

A new poll shows that the overwhelming majority of people think allowing four additional North Carolina casinos should be up to the voters to decide. The conservative John Locke Foundation conducted the poll earlier this week and found that 76% of voters support a statewide referendum to legalize more casinos. The poll also revealed that 55% of registered voters support legalizing the casinos, 32% opposed, and 13% unsure.

Mitch Kokai, senior political analyst at the Locke Foundation, said, “There may be some public concern about the way they’re going about the casinos because right now all of the talk has been behind closed doors, that this is going to be something that will be put into a final budget deal.”

House Speaker Tim Moore supports the additional casinos, saying there’s still no finalized proposal. “It would be unusual to make that a referendum. I don’t know if we’ve ever done something like that that would be a referendum.”

Republican senate leader Phil Berger of Rockingham County has supported adding the gaming proposal to the upcoming budget. It will be voted as a conference report, meaning legislators must vote yes or no on the entire budget, with no amendments permitted.

Based on the latest discussions among Republicans, Moore believes the legislature will have a budget vote during the week of September 11. The poll also uncovered that 62% of voters think more casinos would help generate additional state revenue. However, they were split on whether they believed the move would increase problem gambling.

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