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Californians Split on Online Poker and Sports Betting

A recent survey of voters in California, published in Riverside Press-Enterprise and conducted by Jim Miller and Ben Goad, produced different opinions on two forms of gambling which may soon be legalised by the state.

A recent survey found that most Californians support the legalisation of sports betting but there is large opposition to online poker.

Respondents to the survey were asked about the legalisation of sports betting and the regulation of online poker in order to boost the state’s economy. 997 people were asked and the results were fairly surprising. 58% of people were in favour of allowing sports betting with 35% against. However, only 49% were in favour of legalising online poker and a 45% were against. The director of the Field Poll, Mark DiCamillo, believes that there is less support for online poker as it would allow players to risk losing large sums from their own homes, whereas sports betting would require visiting an authorised outlet in order to participate.

According to Miller and Goad public opinion has dropped in the past few months. A survey last year found support for online poker legislation at 53% and opposition was only at 41%. It is already very clear who is arguing for each side. The California Online Poker Association are strongly pushing for legislation, however, the majority of Indian tribes are aligned against it as they believe it will take business away from their casinos.

Miller and Goad believe that there is a lot of pressure on California’s legislature as legislation legalising online gambling holds the possibility of millions in revenues. It is well known that California is suffering from the recession, there is rising unemployment and a multi-billion dollar budget deficit. The legalisation of sports betting or online poker could potentially bring in millions of dollars revenue as well as create a number of jobs, both of which would be of great benefit to the economy.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.