A majority of California residents would support an intrastate online poker system, according to a survey conducted by Field Research Corporation. The Field Poll, conducted earlier this month on behalf of the Sacramento Bee, put the following question to 520 registered voters:
The state legislature is considering a bill that would make it legal for Californians to play poker online over the Internet. The state would then tax its proceeds, and this would potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues to the state. Do you favor or oppose the idea of making it legal to play poker in California online over the Internet and having the state tax its proceeds?
The overall results were 53% in favor of legalizing an intrastate poker setup, 41% opposed and 6% who couldn’t be arsed to pick a side. Registered Democrats were 56% in favor, with 38% opposed. The mood was not so positive among Republicans, with 49% opposed and 43% in favor. Those without a clear-cut party affiliation were 59% in favor, 35% opposed.
The poll also inquired as to whether a voter was a Tea Party supporter. Those who identified “some” with the Tea Party were 49.8% in favor of letting online poker pass, with 44.1% opposed. Those who identified “a lot” with the Tea Party were 47.7% in favor, 44.4% opposed. Voters who gave President Barack Obama a good job rating were 57.5% in favor of online poker, while just 48.2% of those who disapproved of Obama’s performance were on board with the poker plan.
Overall, both male and female voters were in favor of the idea, but males were more enthusiastic in their support. The overall male vote was 57.5% in favor, 37% opposed, while the overall female score was 48.7% in favor, 44.2% opposed. Younger voters were more than twice as eager to welcome intrastate poker, with 73% of those in the 18-39 bracket in favor, compared to just 35% of voters 65 or older.
In terms of education, voters with a high school diploma or less were 47.2% in favor of California going online, compared to 57.3% of those with some college or trade school training. College grads were slightly less inclined, with 49.2% in favor, but the number rose to 55.9% among those with post-graduate degrees. In terms of income, all demos were over 50% in favor, except those with an annual income between $40-60k, who could muster only 45.9% support.
California has two intrastate online poker bills currently in limbo after Senate President Darrel Steinberg ruled there wouldn’t be sufficient time to properly debate each bill’s relative merits until (at the earliest) January 2012.