On October 21st, 2008, a majority of voters in Maryland are in favor of a referendum to approve slot machines in the state, according to the latest poll conducted by the Washington Post. The poll found out that sixty-two percent of likely voters expressed support for the slots measure on the November 4th, 2008 ballot, while thirty-six percent said that they plan to vote against it. Around 2 percent said that they are undecided on the matter.
Governor Martin O'Malley has labeled the constitutional amendment allowing slot machines in the state as part of the solution to the budget deficit. But critics said that the slot machines will just do more harm than good in the state. The poll was made by telephone among a random sample of 1,005 adults in the state of Maryland. The margin error for the 885 duly-registered voters is plus or minus 3 percentage points. The error margins are bigger for subgroups.
Legislative analysts say that the measure allowing up to fifteen thousand slot machines at 5 different locations in Maryland would eventually produce more than $600 million annually for education and other proceeds that would go to the operators of slots parlors and the horse racing industry. The spokesperson for the Marylanders United to Stop Slots, Bridget Frey say that the results of the poll can be attributed to the heavy spending of pro-slots organization For Maryland For Our Future.
A spokesperson for the pro-slots organization said that the results of the poll only showed that the people of Maryland really want the budget deficit to be solved and keep the millions of dollars already being spent by players on slot machines outside of the state. The poll also found out that slots proposal received majority of support from state voters in all areas of the state, in both political parties and among the income and education levels. The poll also found out that nearly all of state voters are worried about the economy.