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California voters favor legalizing sports betting, poll finds

July 13, 2012 |  9:40 am

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A majority of California voters support the move toward legalizing sports betting in the state, while less than half support government-sanctioned Internet poker, according to a Field Poll released Friday.

That is mixed news for state Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood), who has bills pending on the two subjects.

The Field Poll found that 58% of California voters support legalization of betting in the state on Lakers, Dodgers and Chargers games, while 35% oppose the move.

Wright’s SB 1396, which passed the Senate and is pending in the Assembly, would allow sports betting in California if the federal government lifts its prohibition on the activity.

Wright has had less success with SB 1463, which would allow the state to issue five-year licenses to groups for operating Internet poker and other gambling sites. With strong opposition from some Indian casino operators, Wright has held the bill in committee.

The Field Poll found that 49% of California voters favor Internet poker, while 45% oppose that form of gambling.

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-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Photo: California voters would like to be able to legally bet on Dodgers games, others sports, a new poll finds. Credit:  Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times

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