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October 21, 2014

New Jerseyans are cooling on gambling in general and gambling expansion in Atlantic City in particular, according to a new Rutgers Eagleton poll.

The poll was meant to gauge voters interest in expanding gambling in Atlantic City to include sports betting and online gambling, as well as expanding it to other parts of the state.

Only 33 percent of respondents said gambling has been good for New Jersey -- down from 72 percent in 1999. Yet more people (47 percent) believe it should be expanded to other parts of the state than want it limited to Atlantic City. (43 percent).

But when it comes to new types of gambling, the topic met a decidedly cool reception. Most people (55 percent) believe online gambling will be bad for the state as well as Atlantic City. Only 5 percent think it's been good for the town. And only 7 percent of respondents have tried it.

Sports betting gets a bigger welcome, with 44 percent thinking legalizing it in Atlantic City and at racetracks will be good for Atlantic City, although 31 percent said it will make no difference and 17 percent said it will be bad.

Finally, fewer people want Atlantic City to mimic Las Vegas’s freewheeling ability to carry open alcoholic drinks between casinos and outside. Opposing that idea were 62 percent of respondents, while 35 percent supported it.

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