Pennsylvania Online Poker Battle Heats Up with Competing Poll, Mailing
The battle to influence politicians in Pennsylvania regarding legislation to regulate online poker continues to heat up. In the latest happenings, an objective poll likely representing Pennsylvanian citizens’ true views on the topic has been published by the Bravo Group, a multi-faceted Pennsylvania PR group hired to do the study.
The Bravo Group surveyed 769 registered voters between May 9-15, immediately following, and likely in response to, an already-discredited “push poll” created by Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corporation and its pet anti-online lobbying group, the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG).
The Bravo Group study was reportedly financed by Caesars Entertainment, which is pro-online poker, but the neutrality of the questions asked makes this Bravo Group study far more likely to be an accurate (or close to accurate) summary of Pennsylvanian voters’ true feelings on the topic.
Highlights of the new Bravo Group study include these findings:
66% or respondents agreed with a general statement that they the state should “pass a law that will tax online gambling so the money can be used for education and other vital state programs.”
58% of survey respondents want to pass a law that licenses online gambling regardless, meaning that no matter where revenue is directed, regulating and legalizing the industry is a high concern.
80% of survey respondents would demand that Pennsylvania lawmakers enact technology controls, barring minors from state-regulated online sites;
52% would demand similar controls barring access for problem gamblers, including self-exclusions, time and deposit limitations, and other measures.
More than six in 10 (61 percent of respondents) say they are more likely to vote for a politician who supports protecting children and other potential problem groups by enacting online-gambling legislation in the state of Pennsylvania. The omnibus question indicated support from that majority for such a proposal that also included online blocking capabilities as in the above, plus directed money toward needy state initiatives and programs.
The Bravo study finds margins nearing 50% in contrast when compared against the farcical study published by CSIG via Harper Polling, a conservative GOP advocacy firm in the state. Despite that, CSIG and Sheldon Adelson continue to push that earlier poll’s results, claiming that they’re legitimate and reflect true voter opinion in the Keystone State.
Rich Muny, the Poker Players Alliance VP of Player Relations, announced yesterday that a CSIG mailer touting the bogus survey and its highly falsified “findings” has recently been mailed to an unknown number of Pennsylvania residents, likely in the hopes of creating a wave of conservative-Christian vote protest toward the bills currently under consideration in the state.
— Rich Muny (@RichMuny) May 20, 2015
Muny also attached photo images of the front and back of the mailer, which was presumably forwarded to the PPA by a Pennsylvania member.
Note the return address for CSIG (and Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corporation), in Nevada:
One wonders how quickly the average Pennsylvania voter will catch on to the fact that this is being mailed to them from the United States’ foremost gambling state, Nevada, and thus make the connection to Las Vegas Sands Corp. and the greedy, financially motivated Sheldon Adelson hypocrisy. As one can see, the supposed findings touted in the mailer are in direct opposition to those reported in the more objective Bravo Group survey.
Look for Adelson and LV Sands to spend quite a bit more in the coming months on propaganda designed to steer the Pennsylvania issue LV Sands’ way. With three different pro-online gambling measures now in the table in the state, the battle over Pennsylvania’s online future is just starting to become serious.