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California Residents Prefer Online Sports Betting to Poker

California residents are divided on the prospects of online poker in the state, but are ready to legalize sports betting.

American gambling laws - GamingZion

The recent Field poll in the Golden State shows that residents are in favor of legal sports betting in the state, however, they are still split about the legalization of online poker under the American gambling laws.

Both issues have been already materialized in the form of bills and are awaiting legislation. A bill which could potentially allow sports betting in the state has passed the Senate and one Assembly committee. All it needs now is for Congress or the courts to lift the federal restriction banning online sportsbooks in United States.

The similar bill to allow online poker in California was delayed by its very first committee hearing back in June.

The Field poll on prospects of online sports betting revealed 58 percent of state residents supporting the idea of legal sportsbooks, while only 35 percent against it.

As for the issue of legal online poker sites in United States, 49 percent of voters are in favor and 45 percent – against.

Mark DiCamillo, poll director, told the media that voters generally support the idea of sports betting, but show a reserved attitude towards poker, especially towards losing big without even leaving one’s house.

He said: “Before you know it you could be down quite a bit of money. That greater exposure to risk I think is what’s driving the greater opposition to that in certain groups.”

The new poll results reveal a decline in support for the legalization of online poker compared to the last poll held in September 2011. Back then, 53 percent of voters supported licensing and regulating online poker, and 41 percent were against.

The Field poll was carried out between June 21 and July 2. Altogether 997 voters have participated. The margin of error of the poll is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

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