Proponents of legalizing sports gambling have poured more money into this year’s California proposition campaigns than any other proposition in the state’s history.
Two dueling propositions, 26 and 27, will appear on the statewide November ballot. The propositions ask voters essentially the same question: Should sports gambling in California be legalized? The main difference between them is how sports gambling would be allowed.
Most propositions on the ballot have raised under $10 million each, according to the California Secretary of State’s Office. Meanwhile, Prop 26 and Prop 27 raised hundreds of millions.
More than $500 million has been funneled into campaign contributions on both sides of the propositions, so you can expect to see a lot of advertisements playing on TV and YouTube leading up to Election Day.
Who is paying big bucks to push for and against Prop 26 and Prop 27?
Native American tribes are backing Proposition 26, which would make sport betting legal in-person only. All bets must be placed at either a tribal casino location or a horse racing track.
Online sports gambling companies are pushing for Proposition 27, because it would legalize sports betting online for Californians everywhere. Big companies like DraftKings and FanDuel have a lot of potential profits at stake over the proposition.
- $151,478,519 total raised
- 125 total contributions
- Contributions made in support: $109.5 million (50 contributions)
- Contributions made in opposition: $41.9 million (75 contributions)
The biggest donors in support of Prop. 26 are Native American tribes in California, including: Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, Barona Band of Mission Indians, Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.
The “Yes on 26” campaign states, “For over 20 years, California voters have entrusted Indian tribes with the right to operate gaming on tribal lands — helping promote Indian self-reliance while generating hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in economic opportunity for California. To continue this legacy, a growing coalition led by California tribes is urging a YES vote.”
Prop 26 requires that racetracks pay the state 10% of sports bets made each day. These payments would go into a new California Sports Wagering Fund. Proposition 26 would generate tens of millions of dollars annually for state revenues, according to an analysis by state officials.
The “No on 26” campaign’s website states, “Five California tribal casinos sponsoring Prop 26 have become some of the wealthiest and most powerful special interests in the state. Now they are pushing Prop 26 to guarantee themselves a virtual monopoly on all gaming in California. Prop 26 opens the door to a massive expansion of gambling. When special interests game the system in Sacramento, all Californians lose big.”
- $369,931,682 total raised
- 116 contributions
- Contributions made in support: $169.2 million (23 contributions)
- Contributions made in opposition: $200.7 million (93 contributions)
The biggest donors in support of Prop. 27 are sports betting and digital gaming entertainment companies, including FanDuel, BetMGM, and DraftKings.
Supporters of Prop. 27 say online sports gambling is great for California because a chunk of tax revenue will be designated for addressing the state’s homelessness crisis. An analysis conducted by state officials estimated that taxes and fees would equal hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
The “Yes on 27” campaign claims on its website, “Proposition 27 is the only permanent funding solution for California’s homelessness and mental health crises. Prop 27 guarantees hundreds of millions of dollars every year for permanent solutions to homelessness, mental health and addiction. Under Prop 27, eighty-five percent of all tax revenue goes to fund solutions to homelessness, mental health and addiction.”
The “No on 27” campaign writes, “Out-of-state corporations have written a ballot measure to legalize online sports betting in California — but only on their terms. 90% of sports betting profits will be shipped out of California. If it passes, the promise of gaming exclusivity between California voters and our Native American Tribes will be broken, threatening the $23.2 billion in economic activity and 181,532 California jobs Tribal gaming provides. This measure is a direct attack on tribal sovereignty.”