Strong Community Support
On May 1 and 2, 2011, Public Opinion Strategies surveyed 400 registered voters in the Village of Arlington Heights and recorded overwhelming support for Arlington Park and its plan to add electronic gaming machines.
While just 17 percent of residents identified themselves as “strong” supporters of gaming, and just 13 percent called themselves “not-so-strong” supporters, 35 percent of residents said they “strongly support” allowing Arlington Park to add slot machines at the racetrack and another 28 percent said they “somewhat support” the proposal. Taken together, 63 percent of residents expressed support for adding slots at Arlington Park.
Asked to describe how they feel about the proposal to add slots at Arlington Park, 40 percent of residents said they support the proposal and another 33 percent agreed with this statement: “Even though I don’t like the idea of adding slot machines to Arlington Park, I could support this proposal because it will save jobs and generate revenue for the Village.” Taken together, 73 percent of residents expressed support for slots at Arlington Park as a means to support the local economy.
Additionally, 58 percent of residents said they have a “very favorable” impression of Arlington Park and another 29 percent said they have a “somewhat favorable” impression. Taken together, 87 percent of residents have a favorable impression of Arlington Park.
The economy and taxes registered as the “most important problem” facing the community; 30 percent and 28 percent of residents, respectively, ranked them first. Other concerns were education (7 percent), growth and transportation (7 percent), state and local government (6 percent), crime (4 percent), health issues (1 percent), environment (1 percent), and lottery/gambling (1 percent).
Residents overwhelmingly believe Village of Arlington Heights leaders should focus first on “holding the line on taxes”, “bringing businesses to the area” and “bringing jobs to the area.” Arlington Park’s plan would accomplish all of that – help local governments hold a line on taxes by boosting tax revenue flowing from the racetrack and related businesses, attract business to the area, and bring jobs to the area.