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How Accurate was the California Online Poker Survey
Sunday June 25,2016 : HOW ACCURATE WAS THE CALIFORNIA ONLINE POKER LEGALISATION SURVEY? (Update)
Doubts cast on study that purported to show Californians dont want legalised online poker.
The online publication Flushdraw took a closer look at the recently released Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3) poll, which purported to show that Californians are not in favour of legalised online poker, and expressed reservations over the accuracy of the findings.
InfoPowa readers will recall that the FM3 study was commissioned by the anti-legalisation tribal alliance led by the Pechanga and Agua Caliente tribes, which have for years managed to derail repeated attempts to legislate online poker into the California law books.
The survey results were released as another legalisation attempt made its way through the state legislature and were clearly intended to influence lawmakers considering the latest proposals.
Flushdraw suspects that the results of the survey may have been skewed by an "oversample" taken in a specific area and added to the original findings, and quotes directly from the FM3 summary:
“FM3 conducted a telephone survey of a random sample of 855 likely November 2016 voters in California over a five-day period, June 2-6, 2016, and an oversample of 350 Central Valley voters for a total sample of 1,205. The survey interview took 21.7 minutes on average to complete. The questionnaire was translated into Spanish.”
The publication alleges that oversamples are most commonly used by polling companies to expand a survey response by overlaying the original study with a slew of respondents who are more likely to give the opinions the poll seeks to confirm.
It points out that the additional 350 oversample was derived from California’s Central Valley, where a member of the Pechanga coalition happens to have a land casino.
In addition, it appears that the oversample may have been tainted by a reference in the statements to respondents to a well-worn anti-online poker legalisation statement of questionable accuracy from local Senator Dianne Feinstein.
61 percent of California voters were more inclined to oppose online poker legislation when they heard the statement suggested by pollsters:
“U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein strongly opposes legislation authorizing online poker in California, saying the FBI has concluded that online casinos are vulnerable to a wide array of criminal schemes including money laundering by transnational organized crime groups.”
Feinsteins name will be well known to legalisation campaigners; she has consistently shown her anti-online gambling bent, supporting the Restoration of Americas Wire Act, and featuring prominently in campaigns by Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.
Thus far, FM3 has not responded to Flushdraws criticism, but its explanation will be read with interest when it becomes available.
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