Thursday December 19,2013 : MAJORITY OF AMERICANS WANT LEGALISED ONLINE GAMBLING
New poll claims 65 percent are positive on internet gambling.
A new poll by the US-based Reason-Rupe organisation has found that 65 percent of US residents are positive on the issue of legalising online gambling, while 32 percent think the federal government should prohibit people from gambling in online poker games.
The poll results come at a crucial point in the evolution of the US online gambling industry as individual states press ahead with their own intrastate legalization programs and federal legislators procrastinate on the matter or are locked in conflict over it .
Two federal legalization bills, one for online poker only and one for wider online casino gambling and poker, currently languish in Congress and have achieved little traction this year.
The American Gaming Association and most of its large land casino members prefer a federal solution that embraces online poker only, but have acknowledged that due to the state-by-state initiatives the genie is out of the bottle and legalised online gambling is increasingly becoming a fait accompli.
The Reason-Rupe study found that independant supporters with a Republican bias are more likely to favour legalised online poker (75 percent). Democrats were the least likely to favour (58 percent). Regular Republicans (66 percent), non-partisan Independents (68 percent) and independent-leaning Democrats (65 percent) also favor legalising online poker.
Analysed by income, lower-paid Americans and those with a high school degree or less are most likely to favour the banning of online gambling (41 percent), but 56 percent still favour legalization.
In contrast, only 21 percent of post-graduates and 31 percent of high-income Americans favour banning, (73 percent and 66 percent favour legalization respectively).
Support for legalised online gambling appears to decline with age; roughly 70 percent Americans under 55 favour legalization compared to 56 percent of those over 55 years of age.
The Reason-Rupe survey was conducted via a nationwide telephone poll between December 4-8 2013 in which a sample of 1011 adults were interviewed on both mobile (506) and landline (505) phones, with a margin of error +/- 3.7 percent.
Princeton Survey Research Associates International executed the nationwide Reason-Rupe survey.
In related news, a Pokerscout and Academicon study has predicted that California is a prime venue for online gambling due to its large population and individual average income levels.
The survey predicts that if the state were to legalise and regulate online poker alone, as much as $263 million could be earned during the first operational year, escalating to just over $380 million in ten years.
There are several online poker legalization bills still trapped in the California state Legislature, but movement on the issue is widely expected to be achieved next year.
To conduct the study, Pokerscout-Academicon researchers used information from figures based from 2009 to 2010 when poker was at its prime in the US before Black Friday.
The study found that 178,300 players in online game play were able to create $867 each year in revenues for operators. This totaled $155 million. One author of the study, Professor Kahlil Philander, commented that with regulation, online poker would be expected to grow beyond the previous peak.
Dr. Ingo Fiedler, a second author of the study, opined that the size of the California market will depend greatly on whether the player pool is limited to in-state, or if a federal or international network for players becomes possible.