Alabama media reports that a group pressing for legalized gambling in the state of Alabama along with Senator Del Marsh held a press conference this week to share the results of a recent poll showing overwhelming citizen support for a statewide vote on the issue.

The poll was commissioned by Alabama Jobs Foundation (AJF) and conducted by TargetPoint Consulting, a Virginia-based marketing and research company.

The results were astonishing:

  • 89% favor a vote on gambling
  • 80% support a lottery for education
  • 69% support the creation of the required constitutional amendment
  • 66% oppose new taxes to solve the state’s current budget crisis

The poll questioned 809 registered Alabama voters over a 48-hour period in July, with a margin of error of about 3.45%.

Senator Del Marsh said he was not surprised by the poll results, as apparently several months earlier he had had the issue surveyed by another company that found similar results. The foundation’s director Chip Hill was quoted as saying, “This poll gives us every reason to be optimistic as we go forth in our efforts to promote passage of the constitutional amendment being proposed by Marsh.”

The senator estimates that legalized gambling and the creation of a lottery would generate up to $400 million a year in new state revenue as well as create 11,000 new jobs, but understands it can’t solve Alabama’s current budget crisis. After legalization it would take as much as another two years for any gambling-related revenue to makes its way into the state’s coffers.

Changing Alabama laws to legalize gambling would be a long-term solution to the state’s long-term budgeting issues. “I think we all agree that if we had this in place, it would contribute and help solve future problems. And I have to especially ask my colleagues to consider this when I see that 66% of those polled oppose new taxes.”