By Nick Reisman
A poll conducted by Global Strategy Group and commissioned by casino developers Caesar’s and MGM shows most New Yorkers are open to a measure backed Sen. John Bonacic that would allow for some forms of Internet poker.
The poll found 75 percent of voters believe it should be left up to individual states as to whether they should allow online poker in their states.
Only 18 percent support a Congressional ban on online poker.
And as the state moves forward with the construction of four non-Indian commercial casinos north of New York City, 87 percent of those polled believe the introduction of online poker would no impact on their decision to visit a casino in person.
“New Yorkers are clear – if responsible adults want to play poker online, they should be allowed to,” Jan Jones Blackhurst, Executive Vice President, Communications & Government Relations for Caesars Entertainment Corporation. “They don’t want the Federal or state government telling consumers what to do. We are hopeful that the New York Legislature will pass a bill regulating online gaming, protecting consumers from illegal sites and bringing revenue back to New York from overseas.”
The bill, introduced by Bonacic late last week, would allow for Internet versions of Omaha Hold ‘em and Texas Hold ‘em.
The poll comes as casino magnate and prolific political donor Sheldon Adelson is undertaking a high-profile effort to ban online gambling, and has recruited former Gov. George Pataki to help lobby.