Majority (52%) of Torontonians Support the Building of a Casino in the City of Toronto, While 42% Oppose and 6% Aren’t Sure

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Toronto, ON – A new poll conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of the National Post, Global Television and NewsTalk 1010 indicates that if a vote were held tomorrow on the idea of building a casino in the city of Toronto, a majority (52%) would vote in favor versus a minority (42%) who would oppose the casino and another 6% are not sure. In fact, the question was asked twice in the questionnaire: first at the outset (above) and then at the end when all of the various issues that have been argued by both sides in favor or in opposition to the casino were provided for the 906 respondents. Results of the second vote within the poll actually showed an increase in support from 52% to 54% with opposition remaining at 42% while those who are unsure dropped 5%. As such, it looks like those who are in favor and those who are against a casino are in two very distinct solitudes but it’s those in favor who are currently winning the day.

  • When first asked, men (59%) are more likely than women (46%) to support the idea of building a casino in the City of Toronto, while women are more likely to oppose (47% vs. 37% men) and be unsure (7% vs. 5% men). Women are nearly equally as likely to support (46%) and oppose (47%) a casino in the City of Toronto
  • Middle-aged (54%) Torontonians, aged 35-54, are most receptive to building a casino in the City of Toronto, followed closely younger Torontonians (52%), aged 19-34, and Torontonian seniors (50%), aged 55+. Seniors (47%) are most likely to oppose the idea of building a new casino in the city of Toronto, compared to four in ten younger (40%) and middle-aged (39%) Torontonians.
  • Interestingly, middle-income Torontonians (55%, $50-99,000 annually) are most supportive towards building a casino in the City of Toronto, followed by lower-income Torontonians (53%, less than $50,000 annually), while high-income earners (51%, $100,000 + annually) are least supportive of this idea. High-income earners (43%) slightly edge middle-income earners (42%) for most in opposition to a City of Toronto casino, compared to 39% of lower-income earners.

Support and Opposition to the Casino: What parts of the city want what?

When it comes to different parts of the city, there are clearly divisions. While the average level of support is 52%, those most likely to support a casino are from North York (58%) followed by Etobicoke (57%), Scarborough (55%), York (52%), old Toronto (47%) and East York (30%). Those opposing the building of a casino (42%) are most likely from East York (62%) followed by old Toronto (50%), York (44%), Etobicoke (38%), Scarborough (38%) and North York (35%). Of the 6% of those who are “not sure” they are most likely to reside in East York (8%), North York (8%), Scarborough (8%), Etobicoke (6%), York (5%) and old Toronto (4%).

Awareness…Is very, very high…

Virtually everyone in Toronto (87%) has heard about the possibility of building a casino in the city of Toronto. This compares with 70% who’ve heard of the light rail transit plan for Toronto, 49% who have heard of the scrapping of the land transfer tax in Toronto and 32% who’ve heard about lowering speed limits in the city. Just 7% of Torontonians have not heard of any of these issues in the news.

What do Torontonians Know? Awareness of the Key Arguments Is Pervasive…

Over the last many months, those who support and those who oppose a casino being built in Toronto have had numerous platforms to engage the public – even recently with face-to-face meetings. Of those Torontonians who are aware of the Casino in the news (87%), the poll asked them to identify which arguments, issues or points of view that they had heard both from opponents and proponents in order to understand what most Torontonians know of in the public debate. By total and by each part of the city, awareness is as follows:

To view table, please download the full press release

  • When it comes to awareness of these arguments, men are more likely than women to be aware on all accounts with the exception of ‘Toronto is a world class city and does not need a casino’ (79% women vs. 77% men). Men are significantly more likely than women to be aware of more positive arguments towards the casino such as ‘the vision for the casino is an elegant, world-leading development (88% vs. 77% women), ‘the proposed development would be part of a larger gaming entertainment centre’ (90% men vs. 82% women), and ‘90% of floor space is dedicated to new convention, retail, and entertainment opportunities (79% vs. 71% women).
  • Seniors are also most likely to be aware of positive arguments like ‘a casino will create thousands of full and part-time jobs’ (96% vs. 94% middle-aged Torontonians and 90% younger Torontonians, will ‘attract tens of thousands of convention visitors…benefitting Toronto businesses (95% vs. 93% middle-aged and 89% younger Torontonians), and ‘the centre would bring thousands of jobs and $50 million to $100 million in direct revenue to the city on an annual basis’ (94% compared to 89% of middle-aged and younger Torontonians).
  • Lower income Torontonians are most likely to be aware of the argument that ‘a casino will have a negative impact on local businesses close to the casino’ (78% compared to 77% high income earners and 74% middle income earners). For a majority of arguments, however, such as ‘proceeds from Ontario casinos go back to provincial government programs like health care and education’ (78% low income earners vs. 88% middle income earners vs. 90% high income earners), ‘gambling is a source of entertainment for millions of Ontarians. People should be free to choose to go to a casino’ (89% low income earners vs. 92% middle income earners vs. 96% high income earners), awareness of the argument increases along with level of income.

So, What’s Most Important When Forming Their Own Opinion on The Casino?

After testing for awareness of most of the arguments, issues or points of view among those aware of the Casino idea, all Torontonians were then asked to rate the importance of all of them when forming their own opinion regarding a potential new Casino for Toronto. The end ranking is as follows:

To view table, please download the full press release

  • Supporter Messages: when cross tabulated with those who indicated support for the casino in the initial support/oppose “ ballot question” the key message drivers are:

To view table, please download the full press release

  • Opposing Messages: when cross tabulated with those who indicated opposition to the casino in the initial support/oppose “ ballot question” the key message drivers are:

To view table, please download the full press release

  • Thinking on importance of these arguments when forming their own opinions on a casino in the City of Toronto, men only overtake women in the ‘Toronto is a world class city and does not need a casino’ (57% vs. 55% women), ‘attracts tens of thousands of convention visitors…benefitting Toronto businesses’ (79% vs. 78% women), and ‘gambling is a source of entertainment for millions of Ontarians. People should be free to choose to go to a casino’ (62% men vs. 56% women) arguments in terms of importance of forming their opinion. Women (76%) are significantly more likely than men (65%) to believe the ‘a casino will have a negative impact on local businesses close to the casino’ argument is important when forming their opinion.
  • As age increases, so does the importance of the ‘the vision for the Toronto casino is an elegant, world-leading, architecturally-significant development to be integrated with its surroundings’ argument in terms of importance of forming opinion (60% younger vs. 72% middle-aged vs. 77% seniors). Seniors are significantly more likely to factor in the ‘Toronto is a world class city and does not need a casino’ (61% vs. 58% younger/51% middle-aged Torontonians), ‘proceeds from Ontario casinos go back to provincial government programs like health care and education’ (86% vs. 82% middle-aged/76% younger Torontonians) arguments when forming their opinion on a casino in the City of Toronto.
  • High income earning Torontonians most factor in ‘a casino in Toronto will create thousands of full and part-time jobs as well as construction and other indirect jobs’ (84% vs. 81% middle income/78% lower income earners) and ‘a Toronto casino will attract tens of thousands of convention visitors…benefitting Toronto businesses’ (84% vs. 82% middle income/74% lower income earners) as important arguments when forming their opinion of a Toronto casino. ‘Gambling is a source of entertainment for millions of Ontarians. People should be free to choose to go to a casino’ is more important in forming opinions of lower income earning Torontonians (64%) than middle income (61%) and higher income (52%) earners. Middle income earners (83%) believe ‘proceeds from Ontario casinos go back to provincial government programs like health care and education’ is more important when forming their own opinion of a Toronto casino than lower income (81%) and higher income earning (81%) Torontonians.

The “Ballot Question”….

As noted above, the “ballot question” (support or oppose the Casino) was asked at the outset of the questionnaire and then at the end. This allowed respondents to vote at the beginning without being “educated” and then at the end after having been presented with most of the arguments, issues or points of view in the public domain over the past many months of debate. The results were slightly higher for the supporters from beginning to end:

To view table, please download the full press release

At the end of the questionnaire the question was asked again and rendered the following results:

To view table, please download the full press release

  • The biggest gains in support after the second ballot question are seen in East York (+10 pts, 30% to 40% and in Old Toronto (+4 pts, 47% to 51%). While seeing minimal gains (+2%), Etobicoke (59%) and Scarborough (57%), and North York (56%, -2 pts.) remain most supportive for a casino in the City of Toronto after the second ballot question. Although they saw the largest shift away from opposing the casino after the second ballot question, East York (56%, -6 pts.), Old Toronto (50%, -4 pts), and York (44%, -5 pts.) are still most opposed to a casino in the City of Toronto.
  • After the second ballot question, there is more of a shift (+3 pts) in Torontonian women when it comes to support for building a casino in the City of Toronto (46% to 49%), while women are more likely to have shifted away from opposing the casino (-3 pts., 47% to 44%). There was little shift in Torontonian men in terms of support (+1 pt, 59% to 60%) or opposition (no change) after being presented all the arguments and a second ballot question.
  • Although Torontonian seniors were least likely to support the idea of a casino in the City of Toronto when first asked (50%), they shifted most, in terms of support for the casino, after being presented the arguments for and against the casino (+4 pts., 50% to 54%). Although they shifted away from opposition the most (-3 pts., 47% to 44%), Seniors are still most likely to oppose the idea of a casino in the City of Toronto after the second ballot question, compared to 39% of middle-aged and younger Torontonians.
  • Similarly, while high-income earning Torontonians were least support to the idea of the casino in the initial ballot question, they shifted most towards, in terms of support, after being presented all the arguments (+4 pts, 51% to 55%), tying them with middle-income earners (55% support/41% oppose) in support and opposition after the second ballot question. Lower-income earners slightly edge these two groups for support for the casino after the second ballot question (+3 pts, 53% to 56%) and are least opposed (37%) to the idea of a casino in the City of Toronto compared to 41% of middle and higher-income earning Torontonians when asked the ballot question a second time.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between January 15th to 18th, 2013, on behalf of the National Post, Global Television, and NewsTalk 1010. For this survey, a sample of 906 Torontonians from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 3.7 percentage points had all Torontonian adults been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

John Wright
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs
416.324.2002
john.wright@ipsos.com

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

To learn more, please visit www.ipsos.ca.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company.

With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,363 billion (1.897 billion USD) in 2011.

Visit www.ipsos-na.com to learn more about Ipsos’ offerings and capabilities.


Majority (52%) of Torontonians Support the Building of a Casino 
in the City of Toronto, While 42% Oppose and 6% Aren’t Sure

Contact

JohnWright John Wright
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