Wednesday June 13, 2012 : 76 PERCENT OF CALIFORNIANS FAVOUR ONLINE POKER (Update)
 
Well-timed release of new research study
 
With the political temperature over online poker legalization rising in California, the California Online Poker Association has released a strategically-timed research study showing that 76 percent of Californian respondents favour the idea of legalised online poker.
 
COPA is a coalition of powerful land card rooms and gaming tribes that include the Morongo Band of Mission Indians near Banning and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians near San Bernardino.
 
Bill SB 1463, sponsored by state Sens. Rod Wright and Darrel Steinberg is due for discussion by the state's Senate Governmental Organization Committee today (Tuesday) after four months of political wrangling and amendments to make it more palatable to various competing parties. Sen. Wright is chairman of the committee.
 
Several horse tracks, the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, and the United Auburn Indian Community, which operates successful casinos in the state, are among the bill’s supporters. United Auburn recently entered a commercial partnership with European online gambling group Bwin.Party.
 
There is opposition to the bill, mainly from tribal groups that argue that the bill violates revenue-sharing agreements with the state, and competes with tribal casinos. The California Coalition Against Gambling Expansion, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in the Coachella Valley, and the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians near Temecula are all opposed.
 
Other groups support the concept of legalised online gaming but object to SB 1463’s approach.
 
The California Online Poker Association survey additionally concluded that Californians are only interested in legalised online poker and not the wider concept of online casino action.
 
They felt that licensing should only be available to gambling operators already licensed to offer gambling in California.
 
Only 33 percent of respondents said they support “betting on social games that you play on your computer or Smartphone, such as Farmville or Angry Birds, which currently do not permit gambling for real money.”
 
“Voters don’t want California to become the Wild West of gaming,” pollster Ben Tulchin said. “Voters are OK with permitting it. But there have to be restrictions.”