Philly Shows 'Acceptance' For Two Casinos, Poll Shows

A new poll released this morning shows "acceptance rather than enthusiasm" for two casinos planned in the city, according to Larry Eichel, project director of the Philadelphia Research Initiative at the Pew Charitable Trusts.  Pew polls done in January 2009, April 2009 and last month show that the percentage of people who approve of gaming has hovered near 50 percent.

"What has been going down is the number of people who disapprove," Eichel noted. "That suggests to me an acceptance of the reality that its coming."

Today's poll showed that 51 percent of the 1,602 people questioned last month favor the casinos while 34 percent oppose them.  The opinions were very similar when the respondents were asked about table games -- approved for casinos by the state General Assembly last month -- with 54 percent in favor and 32 percent opposed.

The Pew poll found in the margin on casinos was 53-41 percent in April 2009 and 49-43 percent in January 2009.  Cliff Zukin, a professor of political science and public policy at Rutgers University who participated in the poll, said the results showed a "very unusual" dynamic of "the opposition that really relaxes" rather than a growing enthusiasm.

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