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C4COP Poll Shows Californians Support Online Poker

C4COP Poll Shows Californians Support Online PokerA recent poll conducted by the Coalition for Consumer & Online Protection (C4COP) found that a large majority of California residents support online poker.

Results of a survey taken by phoning 800 residents of [geolink href=””]California[/geolink] on both landlines and cell phones between April 15-21 discovered that 68% are in favor a well-regulated Internet poker scheme in their home state. Only 27% of respondents were against online poker legislation.

The statewide poll was carried out by Tulchin Research on behalf of C4COP, the pro-online gambling coalition formed primarily to counter the anti-online gambling efforts of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG). The CSIG campaign was established late last year at the behest of billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who has waged a war against the proliferation of regulated online poker and gambling in the U.S.

Adelson is reportedly behind a federal bill introduced in late March that aims to ban online gambling. The Restoration of America’s Wire Act reached both the House and Senate upon proposals by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT).

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Last week, the Governmental Organization Committee of the California State Assembly [geolink href=””]held an online poker hearing[/geolink] that committee chairman Isadore Hall III called educational in nature. A total of 33 witnesses provided testimony and insight at the nearly five-hour long meeting that left no stone unturned with regard to the issues involved in advancing legislation.

The main reason that has prevented California from joining Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware in enacting Internet poker legislation thus far has been the state’s powerful Indian tribes who have failed to collectively find common ground on the issue. The situation has been muddied even further by the recent announcement that [geolink href=””]PokerStars has entered into an agreement with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and three state card rooms[/geolink] to offer online poker in the Golden State.

Two Internet poker bills pending before the state legislature – SB 1366 and AB 2291 – both contain bad actor clauses that would likely keep a company such as PokerStars from participating in the scheme. PokerStars continued offering online poker in the U.S. following enactment of the UIGEA in 2006.

C4COP issued a press release calling the Adelson-backed Graham/Chaffetz legislation out of step with the public based on the recent California poll results that surveyed residents throughout different regions of the state. The poll found that Californians overwhelmingly believe that safeguards to protect minors from gambling online is certainly achievable, a matter that Adelson refutes.

C4COP argues that a bill to ban online poker and gambling would force Americans to continue patronizing unregulated sites that offer no forms of consumer protections. Both the Poker Players Alliance and American Gaming Association are also vehemently opposing the efforts of Adelson, who made his fortune through land-based gaming operations.

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