Where to Place Canadian Casinos
In interpreting these data, a note of caution should be raised regarding the definition of “neighbourhood.” Respondents were free to interpret neighbourhood as they saw fit. As a result, it is possible to infer that some respondents may be willing to have casino development in their city, but not necessarily in their neighbourhood. Keeping this caveat in mind, the following can be noted:
— respondents currently living within 50 kms of a Las Vegas-style casino, do not have a significant difference in attitude toward whether they would choose to live near a casino if given the option. Of this group, 69% would not have a casino in their neighbourhood if given the choice.
— respondents who have gambled at an out-of-country casino in the last year are more willing (44% yes) to consider a casino in their neighbourhood than are those who have not (25% yes).
— respondents who gambled at an out-of-province casino in the last year are much more willing to have a casino in their neighbourhood (58% yes) than are those who have not (25%). Unlike out-of- country casino play which may be vacation or travel-orientated, out-of-province casino play appears to be a substitute for the lack of casino availability in their region.
— younger respondents (18-34) are more likely to want a casino in their neighbourhood (33% yes) than are those 35-54 (24% yes) and 55 and older (22% yes).
— respondents currently looking for work are NOT more likely to want a casino in their neighbourhood. The employment benefits of casino developments do not appear to have a strong impact on these individuals.
— respondents who do not participate in gambling are the least likely to want a casino in their neighbourhood. Only 13% indicated support for this option.
— Ontario and BC respondents, the two regions in which community-based casino developments are underway, are most favourable to having casinos in their neighbourhoods (see Figure 35). Even so, the majority of BC and Ontario respondents are opposed (67% and 65% respectively).
— Quebec and Atlantic respondents express the greatest opposition to casino developments in their neighbourhoods (84% and 78% respectively).
GAMBLING AND CRIME
One reason for a “not in my backyard” response to gambling appears to be the perceived link between gambling and crime in the eyes of Canadians. The survey asked respondents to agree or disagree that “an increase in gambling leads to an increase in crime” (Figure 36). Overall, 64% of respondents agree with the link between increased gambling and crime, half of which strongly agree (32%). This perception impacts on the willingness to locate a casino in the respondentÕs neighbourhood: of the 32% of respondents who strongly agree with the gambling and crime link, 89% do not want a casino in their neighbourhood.
FIGURE 36: DO YOU AGREE THAT: “an increase in gambling leads to an increase in crime”
Strongly Agree – 32%
Somewhat Agree – 32%
Neither – 9%
Somewhat Disagree – 17%
Strongly Disagree – 8%