AGA survey finds strong support for gaming Mark Gruetze, CDC Gaming Reports · September 20, 2021 at 2:39 pm Few things, it seems, are as widespread as the acceptance of gambling. Surveys show that 61 percent of Americans own a U.S. flag, two-thirds hand out candy at Halloween, and 85 percent have a smartphone. And 87 percent agree that gambling is an acceptable form of entertainment for themselves and others, according to a poll released Monday by the American Gaming Association. For comparison, this year’s Gallup Values and Beliefs Social Series poll found that 68 percent of Americans considered gambling “morally acceptable.” The AGA’s annual survey of American attitudes toward regulated gaming also found: 65 percent think gaming provides a positive benefit to the U.S. economy. 64 percent agree that gaming provides high-quality jobs, compared with 53 percent in 2019. 77 percent call gaming a growing industry, up from 73 percent in 2019. 73 percent support legalized sports betting in their state. 77 percent say the gaming industry caters to a diverse clientele. “We are a committed, responsible partner and economic driver in communities across the country,” AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said in a statement accompanying the survey results. “Because of this, we’ve risen from the most devastating period in our history and embarked on a record-setting comeback.” The COVID pandemic closed all commercial and tribal casinos in the United States for a time last year. This year, the expansion of legal sports betting and pent-up demand helped gross gaming revenue in commercial casinos total $29.6 billion from January to July, up 17.4 percent from 2019, according to the AGA’s revenue tracker. The survey’s release comes at the start of AGA’s Responsible Gaming Education Week. “Everyone engaged with legal gaming must work together to grow responsibly,” Miller said. “Our collective success depends on it.” Survey respondents who view the industry as committed to responsible gaming have increased by nearly 40 percent since 2018. In addition, nearly 80 percent of respondents who gambled in the past year said they knew of specific industry measures to ensure responsible gaming, including credit restrictions, employee training, and deposit limits. AGA Senior Vice President Casey Clark said those in the gaming industry take pride in being an integral part of communities across the country. “Whether it’s serving as COVID testing or vaccination sites or providing for our food-insecure neighbors, gaming routinely looks for ways to meaningfully contribute. As the industry recovers, gaming’s success generates important tax revenue to build schools, support critical infrastructure like roads, parks, and emergency-management services, and more. Our recovery and success directly translate into state and local success.” While the leisure and hospitality sector of the economy was hit especially hard by COVID, Clark noted that casinos throughout the country are hiring. “While there are still 1.6 million fewer leisure and hospitality jobs than before the pandemic, the gaming sector was the fastest hiring segment of that sector in August, adding 30,000 new jobs. Revenue continues to show impressive growth and all signs indicate 2021 to be the best year for gaming ever.” Clark said that nationwide, 45 percent of the 1.7 million casino employees are minorities. “So, while we all have work to do to ensure access to opportunity, we’re not starting from scratch.” The survey was conducted by Kantar, a New York-based and consulting company, and by YouGov, a research data and analytics group headquartered in London. Kantar surveyed a national sample of 2,000 American voters 21 and older between August 13 and September 1. YouGov surveyed 2,033 Americans 21 and older from June 26 to 30.