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Californians back legal sports betting, less enthusiastic about online poker

TAGs: California, Field Poll, intrastate online poker, sports betting

california-online-poker-surveyA survey of California residents has demonstrated solid support for the legalization and taxation of sports betting, while support for legalization and taxation of online poker was only marginally positive. The Field Research Corporation’s Field Poll of 512 registered voters was conducted by telephone between June 21 and July 2 and subsequently weighted to estimates of the characteristics of the state’s registered voter populations. The results are considered accurate within 4.5% at the 95% confidence level.

Asked whether they favored or opposed legalizing and taxing sports betting, 58% were in favor, 35% were opposed and 7% expressed no opinion. Democrats favored sportsbetting by an over 2:1 margin (64% in favor, 31% opposed) while Republicans were far less enthusiastic (49% in favor, 45% opposed). Those expressing no party affiliation were 58% in favor, 31% opposed, and 11% undecided. Male respondents were 61% in favor to 34% opposed, while women were 54% in favor and 37% opposed. There’s a distinct generational divide on the issue, with 70% of those aged 18-39 supporting the idea and just 24% opposed. In the 40-64 demo, support dropped to 53% while opposition rose to 39%. Among senior citizens, 48% were in favor to 45% who were agin’ it.

Support for online poker was dramatically lower, with only 49% in favor, compared to 45% opposed and 6% undecided. (Californians’ support for online poker has fallen since a similar Field Poll was conducted last September, which showed 53% in favor and 41% opposed.) Again, Democrats were more predisposed to the idea of legal online poker, with 51% in favor and 44% opposed. Republicans, meanwhile, could muster only 40% support compared to 55% opposed. Males were once again more eager to see online poker legalized, with 54% in favor and 43% opposed. Women were evenly split on the issue, with 45% in favor and 46% opposed. The generation gap was even more pronounced here as well, with 73% support among the 18-39 demo, falling to 44% among those aged 40-64, and just 23% of seniors thinking online poker was a good idea.

The views contained in the latest Field Poll reflect the progress being made by the sports betting and online poker bills in California’s legislature. California politicians have demonstrated overwhelming support for state Sen. Rod Wright’s SB1390 sports betting bill, while Wright’s SB1463 online poker bill was unceremoniously yanked off a Governmental Organization Committee meeting agenda last month after it became clear the state’s competing gambling interests had yet to see eye-to-eye on the matter.

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