Betting is unlikely to be legalized in California next month

October 05, 2022
The odds are stacked against sportsbooks in the Golden State. In a poll published by the UC Berkeley Institute for Governmental Studies yesterday, eligible voters in California will likely vote against two bills legalizing betting next month.
Sports Biz
SOURCE: AL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES
SOURCE: AL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: The odds are stacked against sportsbooks in the Golden State. In a poll published by the UC Berkeley Institute for Governmental Studies yesterday, eligible voters in California will likely vote against two bills legalizing betting next month.

The bills: Prop 27 would legalize online sports betting, with 85% of tax revenue earmarked for California’s fight against homelessness, and the remaining 15% going to Indigenous groups that don’t participate in gaming. Campaign efforts for the bill received financial backing from the likes of DraftKings and FanDuel.

  • Meanwhile, Prop 26 allows for in-person betting at horse racing tracks and Indigenous owned and operated casinos. Seventy percent of tax revenue would land in the state’s general fund, while 30% would be split between gambling enforcement, prevention and mental health resources.
  • Sportsbooks must partner with an Indigenous group native to California if the measures pass, and would be required to pay $100 million for a license, the highest cost for one in the country.

The polling: A whopping 53% of respondents said they would say no to Prop 27, while 27% would vote in favor. Twenty percent remain undecided. The gap is smaller for Prop 26, but still sizable — 42% are against, 31% are for it and 27% are undecided. *removes “Golden” from playlist*

Zooming out: If the measures fail, campaigners will need to reevaluate messaging after spending more than $410 million on the trail. Respondents felt sports betting reflected “wealthy interests,” despite Californians’ overall support for initiatives that economically benefit Indigenous communities.

Sports Biz