From: Moore Information Group

Re: Virginia Voter Opinion on Skill Games

Statewide polling among registered voters finds that the majority of voters would oppose legislation to allow “skill” or “gray” games in the commonwealth. Their concerns originate from their belief that the prevalence of these games will lead to increases in addicted gamblers, will prey on vulnerable communities members, including lower income and minority communities, and that we have enough gaming options already.

Virginia voters instead want the legislature to focus on kitchen table issues such as public safety and rising costs of everyday goods like gasoline and groceries.

Key Findings

  • A clear majority of voters oppose expanding gambling to allow “skill” or “gray” games. After defining skill games, 57% of voters oppose the machines compared to 35% who support them. Opposition is consistent across Democrats, Republicans, and independents.

  • A majority of voters believe the legislature should focus on improving the lives of Virginians, not wasting time trying to add thousands of gambling devices. Voters across the ideological spectrum believe legislators should focus on reducing crime, boosting the economy and creating jobs. 55% cite pocketbook-related issues as their top issue. Focusing on legalizing yet another form of gaming in Virginia is not their priority.

  • 60% of voters believe the people of Virginia should be allowed to vote on whether to expand gaming to allow skill games in their neighborhoods, just as they do with casinos and pari-mutuel wagering.

  • There is little appetite for expanded gaming options in Virginia at all. Just 17% of Virginians believe lawmakers should allow more types of gaming in the commonwealth. On the other hand, eight-in-ten voters believe Virginia should leave gambling options where they are now or have fewer gaming options to begin with.

  • 67% of voters believe Virginians already have enough gambling options and the legislature should focus on regulating the options that exist, not expanding gambling even further into our communities such as convenience stores.

A plurality of voters (49%) support prohibiting predatory businesses like skill games from operating in Virginia. The commonwealth has passed laws previously to protect economically vulnerable citizens from these kinds of operators and voters believe continuing to prohibit skill games is the right decision.Methodology:  A total of 500 live phone interviews (both land line and cell phone) were conducted January 4-8, 2024, by Moore Information Group, among a representative sample of 2024 General Election voters.  The potential sampling error is plus or minus 4% at the 95% confidence level.