Gallup: Nearly Two-Thirds of Americans Admit They Gamble

Joe Setyon | July 25, 2016 | 10:11am EDT
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Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64 percent) admit they have gambled in the last year, according to a recent Gallup Poll.

The poll found that nearly half (49 percent) of those interviewed said they bought a state lottery ticket within the past 12 months; 26 percent visited a casino; 15 percent participated in an office pool; and 10 percent bet on a professional sporting event.

However, just three percent said they went on the internet to gamble for money.

Only seven percent of Americans said that they “sometimes gamble more than they should,” and an identical percentage said that “gambling has at some point been a source of problems in their family.”

The poll also looked at those who participated in state lotteries and found that poorer and less-educated Americans were less likely to buy lottery tickets than their middle-income, college-educated peers.

Forty percent of those with an annual income of $36,000 or below said they bought a state lottery ticket within the past year, compared to 56 percent of those who made between $36,000 and $89,999, and 53 percent of those who made $90,000 or more, according to Gallup.

Moreover, 47 percent of those interviewed with a high school education or less bought a state lottery ticket within the last 12 months, compared to 53 percent of those with a technical or college degree, and 45 percent of those with a postgraduate education.

Gallup said its latest survey on gambling showed similar results to ones conducted in 1999, 2004 and 2007, which found that “higher-income Americans were more likely than lower-income Americans to say they gambled.”

The results are in line with another Gallup poll released last month, in which 67 percent of Americans said they personally feel that gambling is “largely [morally] acceptable.”

The random telephone survey of 1,025 adults aged 18 or over who live in all 50 states and the District of Columbia was conducted between June 13-24, 2016.

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