There are some things we can be sure about every presidential election year: there will be a Democrat and Republican candidate, they will disagree on everything, no one will be certain which party will win Florida and there will be hundreds of national and regional polls parsing every aspect of the contest.
As I write this, Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump has just given a major speech on immigration, and the morning polls include reactions from Republicans, reactions from the national electorate, reactions from voters in battleground states, where Trump stands post speech versus Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, how Trump looks in a four-way race with Democrat, Libertarian and Green Party candidates… I could go on and on and on.
Thanks in large part to the Internet and mobile communication devices, polling has proliferated greatly over the past 20 years. You now have thousands of polls taking place daily on a myriad of topics, with the results instantly tabulated and often displayed in real time. A whole online cottage industry has developed around the creation and dissemination of polls and surveys. Now anyone can create and conduct questionnaires aimed at specific groups to gauge their reactions to almost anything.
That includes us here at Casino Journal. For the past three years, we have conducted online polls on topics of interest to the gaming industry on our website (www.casinojournal.com/polls), open to any and all to respond. I won’t say they are as detailed or nuanced as national election surveys, but they do provide some insight to the gaming industry group mindset on certain subjects at certain times… information you may find valuable.
For example, the latest poll queried respondents about the types of slot machines they will focus on at this month’s Global Gaming Expo (G2E). Not surprisingly, 21 percent said they would look into licensed/participation games. What is a bit of a shock was that this was not the top response; 23 percent said skill games would be a focus for them. A certain segment of the gaming industry believes skill-based slot games are nothing more than a flavor-of-the-month phenomenon; this poll shows it may have more legs than that. These results also jibe with a 2015 poll that inquired about the importance of adding skill-based elements to the machine gaming experience—56 percent of respondents rated this very important, versus 16 percent who believes the concept is overrated. Another slot survey asked why slot machine play is waning at brick-and-mortar facilities and 22 percent tabbed slot unpopularity among younger patrons as an issue; something which skill-oriented slot machines could address.
Of course, the polls looked at topics other than gaming equipment. Asked if online gaming in New Jersey has lived up to expectation, 50 percent said no versus five percent who said yes and 37 percent who said it was too soon to tell. Forty percent supported the supposition that the drastic downtick in Macau gaming revenue was largely due to the Chinese government’s crackdown on corruption, while 18 percent blamed a slowing Chinese economy and 17 percent said it was because of casino market saturation.
We even managed to get in a poll regarding this year’s presidential election. It took place during the primaries and asked which of the candidates would be best for gaming industry interests. An overwhelming 64 percent said Trump, followed by 24 percent who said Clinton and 8 percent who burned for Bernie Sanders.
But in all that has happened since the conventions, I wonder if this poll would garner the same results now.